Purpose: To evaluate the risk factors, clinical presentation and surgical outcomes of retinal detachment (RD) among Chinese, Malay and Indian residents in Singapore.
Methods: A retrospective descriptive study from January 1995 to December 1998. All RD operations performed at a tertiary ophthalmic center in Singapore were initially identified from a computerized audit database. Case records data of all Malay and Indian patients as well as a 10% randomized sample of Chinese patients were retrieved and analyzed. Tractional and exudative RD's were excluded.
Results: Of the Singapore residents who had a RD operation over the 4-year period, 597 (89.6%) were Chinese, 47 (7.1%) were Malays and 22 (3.3%) were Indians. The age (mean: 46.1 +/- 15.5 years), gender distribution (70.5% males) and presenting visual acuities were similar in the 3 races. The most common site of the retinal break(s) was the superotemporal retina (44.9%), followed by the inferotemporal retina (15.3%). Chinese patients were more likely to have multiple or indeterminate breaks (p = 0.09) and macula-on RD (p = 0.04), compared to Malays and Indians. The distribution of known risk factors (myopia, lattice degeneration, prior cataract surgery and prior ocular trauma) was similar between the three races. The majority of patients required a scleral buckling operation either in isolation (71.3%), or in combination with vitrectomy (19.4%), and only 10 (7.8%) had vitrectomies without buckles. At 6 months postoperatively, anatomical success (defined as an attached retina on ocular examination) and functional success (defined as visual acuities of 6/60 or better) were achieved in 108 (94.7%) and 62 patients (54.4%), respectively, with no significant racial variation seen. The overall rate of redetachment after the initial operation was low (9.3%).
Conclusion: Variation in risk factors, clinical presentations and postoperative outcomes of retinal detachment appears to be minimal among Chinese, Malays and Indians in Singapore.