It still remains unclear to which extent the presence and the amount of retinal debris seen in internal limiting membrane (ILM) specimens harvested during macular surgery for macular holes or epiretinal membranes are related to the procedure of ILM peeling itself or to modifications of the surgical technique, such as application of vital dyes for visualization of the ILM, or to pathological conditions with epiretinal membrane formation at the vitreoretinal interface. The presence of cellular fragments on the retinal side of the removed ILM appears to be of multifactorial origin, and additional causes besides dye application need to be considered. However, morphological studies with evaluation of vital dyes are still of relevance and provide additional insights into the ultrastructure of the vitreoretinal interface and its interaction with adjuvants used during macular surgery. Chromovitrectomy is an emerging field in vitreoretinal surgery. It is of importance to better understand the tissue-dye interactions, which not only alter the mechanical properties of the tissue being stained, but may also have an impact on the functional result postoperatively.

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