Optical coherence tomography of the neurosensory retina in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment

Am J Ophthalmol. 2000 Feb;129(2):186-90. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(99)00314-1.


Purpose: To clarify the pathologic changes of the detached neurosensory retina in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.

Methods: Retinal images were prospectively examined by optical coherence tomography in 25 eyes of 25 consecutive patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. We excluded the patients whose retinal detachment did not involve the central fovea or patients with poor fixation during optical coherence tomography (OCT) examination. Optical coherence tomography was scanned through the center of the fovea. The patients ranged in age from 15 to 77 years (mean, 45 years; SD, 20 years). The period from onset of subjective symptoms of retinal detachment to OCT ranged from 2 to 60 days (mean, 16 days; SD, 18 days). Optical coherence tomography findings, best-corrected visual acuity, and the height of the retinal detachment at the central fovea were statistically analyzed using ANCOVA (analysis of covariance) and the Mann-Whitney U test.

Results: In 25 eyes of 25 patients, OCT of the detached neurosensory retina at and adjacent to the center of the fovea demonstrated normal retinal structure (10 eyes, 40%), intraretinal separation (7 eyes, 28%), and an undulated separated outer retina (8 eyes, 32%). Three statistically significant factors affected best-corrected visual acuity: intraretinal separation (P = .001), intraretinal separation with undulated outer retina (P = .001), and height of retinal detachment at the central fovea (P<.001). Best-corrected visual acuity was significantly worse in the 15 eyes with intraretinal separation with or without an undulated outer retina than in the 10 eyes with retinal thickening but no intraretinal separation (P = .036). The eight eyes with undulated separated outer retina showed significantly higher retinal detachment at the central fovea than the seven eyes with intraretinal separation but no undulated outer retina (P = .009) and the 10 eyes without intraretinal separation (P = .016). The duration from onset of subjective symptoms to OCT was not related to the occurrence of intraretinal separation of the detached retina.

Conclusions: Intraretinal separation of the detached retina occurred frequently and shortly after retinal detachment in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment and was one of the factors associated with poor vision in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. Best-corrected visual acuity significantly decreased in the highly detached retina.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological*
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Retinal Detachment / pathology*
  • Tomography / methods*
  • Visual Acuity