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Am J Ophthalmol. 2002 Apr;133(4):516-20.

Persistent foveal retinal detachment after successful rhegmatogenous retinal detachment surgery.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.



To describe the tomographic features of the neurosensory retina after successful rhegmatogenous retinal detachment surgery.


Cohort study.


We prospectively examined cross-sectional retinal images using optical coherence tomography (OCT) in 15 eyes of 15 consecutive patients (mean age, 46 years) who underwent scleral buckling surgery for treatment of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. The retinas appeared reattached upon binocular stereoscopic indirect ophthalmoscopy. All eyes were examined at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. The time from onset of subjective symptoms of retinal detachment to retinal surgery ranged from 4 to 66 days (mean, 14 days). The postoperative OCT findings and best-corrected visual acuity were statistically analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test.


The detached retinas appeared attached on ophthalmoscopy in all eyes 1 month postoperatively. OCT showed residual retinal detachment in four eyes (27%) at the fovea and in three eyes (20%) at the fovea and adjacent area. The remaining eight retinas (53%) were attached when examined tomographically. In six of the seven eyes with residual foveal detachment by OCT, the retinas reattached spontaneously up to 12 months postoperatively. The postoperative best-corrected visual acuity improved gradually during 12 postoperative months in all 15 eyes. A substantial increase in visual acuity occurred when the fovea reattached in the six eyes with residual detachment.


Foveal retinal detachment may persist after successful retinal detachment surgery in eyes in which the fovea appeared to be attached on ophthalmoscopy. The residual foveal detachment may explain, in part, the delayed visual acuity improvement after successful scleral buckling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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