Background Infants with hyperplastic persistent pupillary membranes (PPM) may be at risk for deprivation amblyopia due to obstructions of the visual axis. We describe the long-term visual and anatomic outcomes of a surgical technique for their removal.
Methods The medical records of consecutive patients <3 years of age who underwent surgical removal of PPMs between December 1998 and May 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Each PPM was judged to be visually significant based on poor visual acuity, poor retinoscopic reflex, or inability to visualize the fundus. The surgical technique included injection of a viscoelastic agent beneath the pupillary strands to bow them anteriorly, careful peeling of residual adherent strands from the anterior lens capsule, and lysis of the strands at the pupillary margin with intraocular scissors. Pre- and postoperative visual and anatomic results were recorded.
Results This case series included 10 eyes of 6 patients: PPMs were bilateral in 4 patients and unilateral in 2. The patient age at time of surgery ranged from 2.5 months to 2.5 years (mean, 14 months). Mean postoperative follow-up was 5.3 years (range, 2.5-8 years). All patients had successful clearance of the visual axis and good visual acuity. No intraoperative complications occurred.
Conclusions All patients in this series had excellent visual and structural outcomes, with no significant complications. The technique described here may be considered for patients with visually significant PPMs to improve visual function and pupil appearance.