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Inner retinal structure and visual function after idiopathic epiretinal membrane surgery with and without brilliant blue G

A Correction to this article was published on 13 August 2021

This article has been updated



Vital dyes are frequently used to visualize the internal limiting membrane (ILM) of the neuroretina. This study evaluated and compared the microstructure of the inner retina and visual function with and without brilliant blue G (BBG) staining for ILM peeling during idiopathic epiretinal membrane (ERM) surgery.

Study design

Retrospective, consecutive, interventional case series.


Fifty-five patients (55 eyes) with ERM underwent ILM peeling without dyes (non-dye group) and 55 patients (55 eyes) underwent ILM peeling with BBG staining (BBG group). The logMAR visual acuity (VA) and ganglion cell complex (GCC) thickness were measured using optical coherence tomography at baseline and 12 months after surgery.


LogMAR VA improved significantly in both groups at 12 months and the BBG group tended to be better than the non-dye group but with no significant difference between the groups (unpaired t-test, P = 0.490). The average GCC thickness significantly decreased in both groups; however, there was no difference in the rates of change in GCC thickness between the groups. The ratio of GCC thickness to total retinal thickness (%) was significantly higher in the BBG group in the superior quadrant at 12 months postoperatively (P = 0.010).


BBG-assisted ERM surgery resulted in better visual improvement and fewer structural changes in the inner retinal layers. BBG-assisted ILM peeling is safe both functionally and anatomically.

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The authors thank Mari S. Oba, Department of Medical Statistics Faculty of Medicine, Toho University, for her assistance with the statistical analysis. The authors thank the certified orthoptists Kazue Saito, Megumi Tamai, Moe Mita, and Kyoko Araki for their contribution to the spectral-domain optical coherence tomography image acquisition and data collection.

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Correspondence to Asuka Takeyama.

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A. Takeyama, None; Y. Imamura, None; M. Shibata, None; Y. Komiya, None; M. Ishida, None.

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Corresponding author: Asuka Takeyama

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Takeyama, A., Imamura, Y., Shibata, M. et al. Inner retinal structure and visual function after idiopathic epiretinal membrane surgery with and without brilliant blue G. Jpn J Ophthalmol 65, 689–697 (2021).

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  • Epiretinal membrane
  • Brilliant blue G
  • Internal limiting membrane peeling
  • Ganglion cell complex
  • Vitrectomy