Purpose: To compare two commercially available staining solutions (MembraneBlue Dual® by D.O.R.C., Netherlands, and TWIN by AL.CHI.MI.A. S.R.L., Italy), in terms of intraoperative handling, staining efficacy and safety, in eyes undergoing surgery for idiopathic epiretinal membrane (ERM).
Methods: In this observational cross-sectional study, the performance of the dyes used during the procedure (cohesion, ERM and internal limiting membrane [ILM] staining efficacy) was scored by the surgeon using a customized questionnaire after 10 procedures with each of the two dyes. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central foveal thickness (CFT), blue-light fundus autofluorescence (BAF), and microperimetry-determined retinal sensitivity were reviewed preoperatively and then at 1 and 3 months after surgery.
Results: ILM staining efficacy with TWIN was scored 2.89 ± 0.33 by the surgeons, which turned out to be higher than with MembraneBlue Dual® (1.90 ± 0.31, P = 0.0002). The cohesion score was 2.70 ± 0.48 for TWIN and resulted significantly higher than with MembraneBlue Dual® (1.60 ± 0.51, P = 0.0010). BCVA, CFT and retinal sensitivity were similar in the two groups, 1 and 3 months postoperatively (P nonsignificant for all).
Conclusions: Both TWIN and MembraneBlue Dual® dyes showed suitable staining properties and equivalent safety and efficacy profiles, both intra- and postoperatively. The TWIN dye might offer a solution for surgeons who prefer a more cohesive and stable dye.