Acute intraoperative suprachoroidal haemorrhage in ocular surgery

Eye (Lond). 1998;12 ( Pt 5):815-20. doi: 10.1038/eye.1998.210.


Purpose/background: Acute intraoperative suprachoroidal haemorrhage (AISH) is the most sight-threatening complication of ocular surgery. We investigated the visual outcomes following this intraoperative event, patient characteristics that may predispose to it and the clinical features that may be of prognostic significance.

Methods: The records of 45 cases of AISH collected from ophthalmic centres in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Switzerland were reviewed. Two satisfactory controls in terms of operative procedure, surgeon, age (+/- 5 years) and gender were found for each of 33 of our cases. Systemic and ocular characteristics were compared for cases and controls, and the visual results of all cases of AISH are analysed.

Results: Cases and controls differed only in terms of axial length and pre-operative intraocular pressure, both of which were significantly greater for eyes that experienced an AISH (p < 0.05). Ten eyes (22.2%) achieved a final Snellen acuity of 6/12 or better. Statistically significant associations with a final acuity of counting fingers or worse included spontaneous nuclear expression (p = 0.02), retinal detachment (p < 0.0001), four-quadrant suprachoroidal haemorrhage (p = 0.007) and vision of perception of light or worse at the first dressing (p = 0.0001). Four of the 6 eyes that experienced an AISH during phacoemulsification surgery had a visual outcome of 6/12 or better, and this was significantly greater than for cases involving extracapsular cataract surgery (p = 0.004).

Conclusion: The results indicate that longer axial length and higher pre-operative intraocular pressure are associated with increased risk of AISH. Poor visual results are more likely following spontaneous nuclear expression, retinal detachment, four-quadrant suprachoroidal haemorrhage or vision of perception of light or worse at the first dressing. The results also suggest that AISH complicating a phacoemulsification procedure has a more favourable visual prognosis than AISH that occurs during extracapsular cataract surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Loss, Surgical*
  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects
  • Choroid Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Visual Acuity