Introduction: The aim of this study was to describe differences in the vitreomacular interface (VMI) in idiopathic epiretinal membrane (ERM) foveoschisis compared to macular pseudohole (MPH) and lamellar macular hole (LMH). Methods: We analysed surgically excised epiretinal material and internal limiting membrane (ILM) specimens obtained from 16 eyes of 16 patients with ERM foveoschisis (6 eyes), MPH (5 eyes), and LMH (5 eyes) during standard pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) with membrane peeling. The three entities were classified according to the newly introduced optical coherence tomography (OCT) terminology. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to describe the ultrastructural features. Results: We found fibrocellular epiretinal tissues in all samples analysed. However, the cell and collagen composition of the VMI differed between groups. Eyes with ERM foveoschisis were characterized by a higher number of cells, multilayered membranes, and thick strands of vitreous collagen embedding the major cell types of myofibroblasts compared to MPH. Eyes with MPH also showed a predominance of myofibroblasts, but these were located directly on the ILM with no collagen between the cells and the ILM. Eyes with LMH showed a thick, multilayered epiretinal proliferation consisting mainly of non-tractional glial cells, corresponding to hypodense epiretinal proliferation on OCT. Eyes with ERM foveoschisis and MPH were more likely to have incomplete PVD compared to LMH in terms of posterior hyaloid status. Discussion/Conclusion: Tractional ERMs in eyes with ERM foveoschisis and MPH differ in their ultrastructure. The main difference is in the amount and topographical distribution of vitreous collagen. However, the epiretinal cell types are predominantly myofibroblasts in both entities. This highlights the importance of distinguishing ERM foveoschisis from both MPH and LMH in terms of pathogenesis and surgical peeling procedures.

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