Objective: To determine how often the fellow eyes of patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) without proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) harbor vision-threatening conditions at presentation and during follow-up.
Design: Retrospective, observational case series.
Participants: Two hundred forty-eight patients with RRD without PVR were studied.
Intervention: The authors observed the fellow eye of patients with RRD for vision-threatening pathology.
Main outcome measure: Detection of vision-threatening pathology in the fellow eye of patients with RRD without PVR.
Results: Two hundred forty-eight patients were observed for an average of 5.2 years. One hundred fifty-seven vision-threatening events or diagnoses occurred in the fellow eye, including pre-existing and newly diagnosed conditions, 97 (62%) of which were rhegmatogenous in nature. Fifty-six patients (23%) had retinal detachments in their fellow eye, including those with a history of RRD repair (28 eyes), those presenting with bilateral RRD (4 eyes), and those developing new RRD during follow-up (24 eyes). In addition, 1 patient developed recurrent retinal detachment in the fellow eye during follow-up. Retinal tears were diagnosed and treated with laser retinopexy or cryotherapy in 30 (12%) fellow eyes (4 before the initial examination, 7 upon initial examination, and 19 on follow-up). Lattice degeneration was present in 27 (11%) fellow eyes.
Conclusions: Patients who develop RRD are at considerable risk for developing vision-threatening events, particularly rhegmatogenous events, in the fellow eye.