BackgroundTo compare the functional and anatomic outcomes at 24 months of eyes with a primary macular hole that failed to close after a prior surgery and were treated with either an autologous transplantation of internal limiting membrane (AT-ILM) or the retina expansion (RE) technique.MethodsRetrospective, single center, comparative study of 28 eyes with a macular hole that failed to close after a prior vitrectomy. All eyes had a size of ≥ 500 μm. Participants were divided into two groups according to the type of intervention performed: AT-ILM group (n = 14) and RE group (n = 14). Main outcomes measured were the MH closure rate assessed by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at 24 months after surgery.ResultsPatients in the AT-ILM group experienced a statistically significantly improved post-operative BCVA (median 49.50 letters, range 20–66 letters) over the pre-operative BCVA (median 39 letters, range 18–52 letters) (p-value = 0.006 Wilcoxon paired sample test). In contrast, patients in the RE group did not achieve a statistically significant improvement (p-value = 0.328, Wilcoxon paired sample test). The median pre-operative BCVA was 35 letters (range 18–52 letters), whereas the median post-operative BCVA was 39 letters (range 16–66 letters). At 24 months of follow-up, 85.7% of patients in the AT-ILM group achieved closure compared to 57.1% in the RE group (p-value = 0.209, Fisher’s exact test). Multivariate analysis showed that MH size and baseline BCVA were important determinants of post-operative BCVA. The baseline MH size was the only significant pre-operative factor that influenced MH closure.ConclusionsThis study demonstrates similar closure rates for both groups however better visual outcomes were obtained with the AT-ILM.