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Acta Ophthalmol. 2012 Dec;90(8):744-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2011.02251.x. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Intraocular pressure changes following 20G pars-plana vitrectomy.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse, Bern, Switzerland.



To observe the excursions of short-term intraocular pressure (IOP) after 20-G pars-plana vitrectomy (ppV).


In a prospective study, 851 patients (age: mean 63 ± 15 years) underwent unilateral ppV for various vitreoretinal diseases using different endotamponades [Balanced Salt Solution (BSS) 33.1%, Air 7.2%, SF(6) 33.6%, silicon oil 5000 cst 26.1%]. Intraocular pressure was measured in all patients before and at 3, 6, 24 and 48 hr after surgery. Survival analysis was performed to determine the cumulative hazard of IOP changes depending on endotamponade and time point after ppV (Log-Rang - Mantel Cox; p < 0.0001).


  At baseline, IOP ranged from 0 to 50 mmHg (mean IOP: 15.3 ± 5.3 mmHg). Mean IOP after surgery revealed a slight elevation (3 hr: 16.5 ± 11.0 mmHg; 6 hr 16.9 ± 9.8 mmHg; 24 hr 19.7 ± 8.0 mmHg; 48 hr 17.3 ± 6.2 mmHg; range: 0-64 mmHg). Silicon oil filling revealed highest mean values at already 3 hr after surgery (21.8 mmHg). Also, BSS filling showed a peak after 3 hr; however, mean values were lower. Equivalent high IOP values as for silicon oil tamponade were found for gas filling; however, maximal peak was reached after 24 hr but not after 3 hr post-treatment. The cumulative hazard in all patients to reach IOP ≥ 30 mmHg after 24 hr was 23.9%; (IOP ≥ 40 mmHg = 8.2%). Herein, oil filling revealed highest risk at all time points after surgery. The risk of suffering from IOP < 5 mmHg lasting longer than 6 hr was only 1.2% after 20 G vitrectomy.


Intraocular pressure measurements after ppV are important to prevent unintentional high IOP, especially within the early phase (3 hr post-treatment) in eyes with silicon oil filling. Gas filling leads to prolonged IOP increase (24 hr post-treatment). Long-lasting hypotony (≥ 6 hr) is very rare after 20G vitrectomy.

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