Background: In patients with more complex rhegmatogenous retinal detachments (RRD) not complicated by proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), the most appropriate operating method is controversial, and different surgeons use different techniques. The Scleral Buckling Versus Primary Vitrectomy in Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachments Study (SPR Study) is designed to compare primary vitrectomy and scleral buckling techniques in these patients.
Methods: The SPR Study is a multicentre, randomised, controlled clinical trial stratified by lens status. Patients with RRD which is not complicated by PVR grade B or C and which cannot be treated with a single meridional sponge are randomised to either scleral buckling or pars plana vitrectomy as first surgical intervention. Four hundred consecutive patients are to be recruited per subtrial (phakic and aphakic/pseudophakic patients), and followed up for 1 year. The primary endpoint (functional outcome) is the change in visual acuity. Secondary endpoints (anatomical outcome) include postoperative PVR, retinal reattachment and the number of reoperations necessary to achieve retinal reattachment. Twenty-seven institutions (49 surgeons) in six European countries have been recruited for participation in the study.
Conclusion: The SPR Study is the first randomised prospective clinical trial to compare scleral buckling and primary vitrectomy in patients with RRD. The results of this study should enable vitreoretinal surgeons to improve the surgical therapy of patients with the more complicated manifestations of RRD.