Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Macular hole formation, progression, and surgical repair: case series of serial optical coherence tomography and time lapse morphing video study

Ronald C Gentile12*, Gennady Landa12, Mauricio E Pons1, Dean Eliott3 and Richard B Rosen12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ophthalmology, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York, NY, USA

2 New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA

3 The Doheny Retina Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Ophthalmology 2010, 10:24  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-10-24

Published: 17 September 2010



To use a new medium to dynamically visualize serial optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans in order to illustrate and elucidate the pathogenesis of idiopathic macular hole formation, progression, and surgical closure.

Case Presentations

Two patients at the onset of symptoms with early stage macular holes and one patient following repair were followed with serial OCTs. Images centered at the fovea and at the same orientation were digitally exported and morphed into an Audiovisual Interleaving (avi) movie format. Morphing videos from serial OCTs allowed the OCTs to be viewed dynamically. The videos supported anterior-posterior vitreofoveal traction as the initial event in macular hole formation. Progression of the macular hole occurred with increased cystic thickening of the fovea without evidence of further vitreofoveal traction. During cyst formation, the macular hole enlarged as the edges of the hole became elevated from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) with an increase in subretinal fluid. Surgical repair of a macular hole revealed initial closure of the macular hole with subsequent reabsorption of the sub-retinal fluid and restoration of the foveal contour.


Morphing videos from serial OCTs are a useful tool and helped illustrate and support anterior-posterior vitreofoveal traction with subsequent retinal hydration as the pathogenesis of idiopathic macular holes.