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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2014 Jun;252(6):873-9. doi: 10.1007/s00417-013-2512-3. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Pars plana vitrectomy for treatment of advanced Coats' disease--presentation of a modified surgical technique and long-term follow-up.

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  • 1Center for Ophthalmology, Eberhard-Karls-University of Tuebingen, Schleichstr. 12-16, 72076, Tuebingen, Germany, daniela.suesskind@med.uni-tuebingen.de.



To present a modified surgical technique in the treatment of retinal detachment secondary to advanced Coats' disease in children, and report on long-term anatomical and functional outcome.


We analysed an interventional case series of 13 patients (13 eyes) with advanced Coats' disease characterised by retinal detachment in addition to massive subretinal exudates and vascular malformation. The presented patients underwent pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), including a modified technique of exocryotherapy applied after fluid-air exchange in order to achieve complete treatment of the vascular changes, to reduce associated side-effects, and to avoid retinectomy and silicone oil tamponade.


Within a median follow-up period of 37 months (range: 18-66 months), no enucleation was necessary. Four eyes (31 %) did not need any further therapy, and in nine eyes (69 %) additional treatments were performed. Six patients (46 %) required revisional surgery with silicone oil tamponade. In ten eyes (77 %), the pathologic vessels and exudates finally regressed and the retina reattached. Visual acuity (VA) could be stabilized in the majority of patients: in three eyes (27 %) VA improved, in four eyes (36 %) VA remained stable, in four eyes (36 %) visual acuity (VA) deteriorated, and in two eyes VA could not be evaluated.


The presented modified technique allows for sufficient cryotherapy of vascular malformations, even in the presence of massive exudation, in a subset of patients with advanced Coats' disease, and thus may reduce surgery-related complications and improve the rehabilitation process of these young patients.

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