Purpose: To report the use of perfluorohexyloctane, a liquid semifluorinated alkane that is heavier than water, as an internal tamponade agent in surgery for complicated retinal detachments.
Design: A consecutive interventional case series from three study centers.
Methods: In 23 consecutive eyes (23 patients, 19 men and four women, mean +/- standard deviation (SD) age of 58.5 years +/- 16.1) perfluorohexyloctane was used for long-term internal tamponade. Included were eyes with complicated retinal detachment involving the lower two quadrants of the fundus. Excluded were patients with diseases in the fellow eye or severe systemic disease. A pars plana vitrectomy was performed, including membrane peeling and retinotomy where necessary.
Results: The mean duration for perfluorohexyloctane being left in situ was 76 days (SD 37.64) (range, 35-202 days). Four weeks following the removal of perfluorohexyloctane 19 of the 23 patients had total reattachment of the retina; three eyes had a recurrence of retinal detachment. One patient was lost to follow-up. The mean follow-up after perfluorohexyloctane removal was 97 days (range, 48 to 169 days). Cataract formation or progression was noted in nine of the 10 eyes. There were two cases with high intraocular pressures. Dispersion into small droplets was observed as early as 3 days postoperatively in three of the 23 patients. At least 12 of the 23 patients had an obvious dispersion by the time of perfluorohexyloctane removal. There was no sign of optic atrophy, retinal necrosis, or retinal vascular occlusion.
Conclusion: Perfluorohexyloctane was tolerated as a long-term internal tamponade agent without obvious signs of damage to the retina or optic disk. Of all the complications noted, the most common was that of dispersion of the perfluorohexyloctane bubble into droplets.