Prevalence of vitreoretinal interface disorders in an Australian population: the Blue Mountains eye study

Gerald Liew*, Helen Nguyen, I. Van Ho, Andrew J. White, George Burlutsky, Bamini Gopinath, Paul Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: To describe the prevalence, risk factors, and associations of vitreoretinal interface (VRI) abnormalities in a population-based study of older adults. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of cohort study participants. Participants: Of the 1149 participants (mean age, 76.1 ± 6.9 years) in the 15-year Blue Mountains Eye Study follow-up examination from 2007 through 2009, 905 (1791 eyes) had gradable time-domain or spectral-domain OCT scans of the macula from at least 1 eye. Methods: OCT scans were graded according to the International Vitreomacular Traction Study Group classification system of VRI abnormalities. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was recorded. Main Outcome Measures: Prevalence of VRIs. Results: Overall, 451 participants showed any VRI abnormality (49.8%). Prevalence of VRI abnormality by person was: vitreomacular adhesion (VMA), 33.6%; vitreomacular traction (VMT), 1.6%; epiretinal membrane (ERM), 21.4%; full-thickness macular hole (FTMH), 0.7%; and lamellar macular hole (LMH), 0.7%. Twenty-two percent of VMAs were focal, and 78% were broad based; 76% of VMTs were focal, and 24% were broad based. All FTMHs observed were large (>400 μm), with mean aperture size of 573 μm (range, 459–771 μm). Increased age was associated with higher ERM and lower VMA prevalence (P < 0.001 for both). Pseudophakia and myopia were associated with ERM (age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios [ORs], 1.48 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01–2.17] and 1.72 [95% CI, 1.05–2.81], respectively). Moderate or severe ERM and FTMH were associated with worse BCVA of 9.2 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) letters (95% CI, 3.4–15.0 ETDRS letters; P = 0.008) and 26.0 ETDRS letters (95% CI, 10.9–41.1 ETDRS letters; P = 0.001), respectively. Conclusions: The prevalence of VRI abnormalities is high in older individuals. Epiretinal membrane was associated with increasing age, pseudophakia, and myopia. Epiretinal membrane and FTMH may account for significant visual loss in the affected eye. This study provided useful population-based data on the prevalence of VRI abnormalities in older individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100019
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmology Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • epiretinal membrane
  • population
  • Vitreomacular traction


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