Autologous neurosensory retinal free patch transplantation for persistent full-thickness macular hole

  • Chiara De Giacinto
  • Rossella D’Aloisio
  • Gabriella Cirigliano
  • Marco Rocco Pastore
  • Daniele Tognetto
Case Report



To evaluate anatomical and functional outcomes after autologous neurosensory retinal free patch (ANRFP) transplantation for persistent idiopathic full-thickness macular hole (iFTMH).


A 65-year-old woman with persistent macular hole in her right eye after previous 27-gauge pars plana vitrectomy with internal limiting membrane peeling and long-acting gas tamponade underwent ANRFP transplantation. Before surgery, best corrected visual acuity in her right eye was 20/800. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) showed a 715-micron-diameter FTMH. To treat the persistent FTMH, a small autologous neurosensory retinal patch was transplanted and placed inside the macular hole under perfluorocarbon liquids (PFCL). PFCL-air exchange was performed, and long-acting gas tamponade was carried out. Clinical features of the macular area, visual acuity (VA), fundus autofluorescence, microperimetry and OCT were recorded during the 10-month follow-up.


The macular hole appeared successfully closed with retinal patch stable and well plugged into the hole during the whole follow-up. VA improved to 20/100 and microperimetry revealed an increase in mean retinal sensitivity from 14.7 dB at 1 month to 15.6 dB at 10 months postoperatively. OCT showed a well-distinguishable retinal patch into the hole 1 month after surgery and a completely integrated retinal patch between the retinal layers 10 months postoperatively. No intra- and postoperative complications were noticed.


ANRFP transplantation may represent an innovative technique for persistent iFTMH treatment.


Idiopathic macular hole Persistent macular hole 27-gauge vitrectomy Autologous neurosensory retinal free patch Optical coherence tomography 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical standard

The study adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki and informed consent was obtained from the patient.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eye Clinic, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health SciencesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly

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