Retinal dialysis: are we missing diagnostic opportunities?

Eye (Lond). 2004 Jul;18(7):709-13. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6701310.


Aims: To review medical records of those patients managed by our department for retinal dialysis, and establish whether the initial assessment had been adequate to make the diagnosis. That is, to establish if an adequate initial assessment had been performed that would reasonably exclude the likelihood of retinal dialysis and other trauma-related sequelae such as angle recession.

Methods: A retrospective review was made of all patients managed for retinal dialysis at Sussex Eye Hospital between 20 March 1997 and 20 September 2002 (66 months). In addition to general demographic data, surgical management and outcome, patient files were reviewed for history of trauma, prior ophthalmic review, and whether such review included documentation of peripheral retinal examination and gonioscopy.

Results: A total of 580 primary procedures were performed for retinal detachment during the review period, of which 32 eyes of 29 patients underwent surgery for retinal dialysis (6%). There were 21 male and eight female patients, with a history of trauma obtained in 55% (17 eyes, 16 patients). Of the 16 patients with prior trauma, nine had undergone prior ophthalmic review at the time or soon after their trauma; however, only 2 (22%) had documented evidence of indented peripheral retinal examination. Only one (3%) patient in the whole series had documented gonioscopy.

Conclusions: Patients with history of trauma often present at the time or soon after their injury (eg hyphaema, orbital fractures). Thus, an opportunity exists to screen patients for known sequelae of trauma such as retinal dialysis and angle recession. It was disappointing to learn that this opportunity was not always being utilized, with some patients consequently developing macula-off retinal detachments and potential for reduced visual outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence
  • Eye Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Eye Injuries / surgery
  • Female
  • Gonioscopy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Perforations / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Perforations / etiology
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / surgery