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Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2015 Feb;23(1):59-66. doi: 10.3109/09273948.2013.870212. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Relationship between suspected reasons of intraocular inflammation and the results of diagnostic vitrectomy: an observational study.

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  • 1University Eye Hospital, Centre for Ophthalmology, Eberhard-Karls University , Tuebingen , Germany .



Intraocular inflammation of the posterior segment may be associated with neoplastic, infectious, and inflammatory diseases. Biopsy of vitreous and additional ocular tissue might be required for a definitive diagnosis. We therefore aimed to investigate the safety and usefulness of diagnostic vitrectomy in intraocular inflammation.


We performed an observational retrospective study of patients who underwent vitreous biopsy due to atypical intraocular inflammation, experienced failed resolution to empirical therapy, or for whom there was suspicion of an underlying neoplastic process.


Seventy consecutive patients were included due to idiopathic uveitis of the posterior segment unresponsive to systemic corticosteroids (n = 33, 47%), suspected vitreoretinal or choroidal lymphoma (n = 18, 26%), viral retinitis (n = 17, 24%), and suspected endogenous endophthalmitis (n = 2, 3%). Suspected viral retinitis was most often confirmed (13/17, 76%), followed by lymphoma (6/18, 33%). Remarkably, a proportion of suspected idiopathic uveitis was infectious (7/33, 21%). The most prevalent adverse event following diagnostic vitrectomy was cataract surgery in phakic patients (n = 16/41, 39% of phakic patients). Retinal detachments were observed chiefly in infectious or neoplastic disease (n = 5, 7%) after a median time of 105 days.


Diagnostic vitrectomy was helpful in substantiating the clinical suspected diagnosis of posterior segment inflammation. Potential secondary adverse events should be kept in mind.


Diagnostic vitrectomy; intraocular inflammation; viral retinitis; vitreoretinal lymphoma

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