Animal models of retinal detachment and reattachment: identifying cellular events that may affect visual recovery

Eye (Lond). 2002 Jul;16(4):375-87. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6700202.


Retinal detachment continues to be a significant cause of visual impairment, either through the direct effects of macular detachment or through secondary complications such as subretinal fibrosis or proliferative vitreoretinopathy. Animal models can provide us with an understanding of the cellular mechanisms at work that account for the retinopathy induced by detachment and for the generation of secondary effects. As we understand the mechanisms involved, animal models can also provide us with opportunities to test therapeutic agents that may reduce the damaging effects of detachment or improve the outcome of reattachment surgery. They may also reveal information of use to understanding other causes of blindness rooted in retinal defects or injuries. Understanding the effects of detachment (and reattachment) are likely to become even more important as surgeons gain skills in subretinal surgical techniques and macular translocation, both of which will generate short-lived detachments. Here we discuss the fundamental events that occur after detachment, present changes associated with reattachment, and discuss retinal changes that may affect the return of vision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Retinal Detachment / complications
  • Retinal Detachment / pathology*
  • Retinal Detachment / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vision Disorders / etiology