[Decompression retinopathy after intraocular surgery]

Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol. 2007 Oct;82(10):629-34. doi: 10.4321/s0365-66912007001000007.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To report 10 instances of decompression retinopathy (DCR) developing after intraocular surgery.

Methods: This was a case series of 9 patients (10 eyes). Decompression retinopathy occurred after trabeculectomy (4 eyes), phacomulsification (3 eyes), Ahmed valve placement (1 eye), silicone oil removal (1 eye) and vitrectomy (1 eye). Fundus evaluation and fluorescein angiography were performed in all instances.

Results: Superficial, subhyaloidal, and deep retinal hemorrhages were noted in the posterior pole and peripheral retina; some of these had a white center. Nine (90%) of 10 eyes had a previous diagnosis of glaucoma, 6 having primary open-angle glaucoma, 2 neovascular glaucoma and 1 secondary glaucoma associated with intravitreal silicone oil. The patient without glaucoma had a history of cataract surgery and a vitrectomy to close a macular hole. The mean preoperative intraocular pressure (IOP) was 36.6 mm Hg (range: 15 to 58 mm Hg) despite maximal medical therapy in those patients with glaucoma. Fluorescein angiography demonstrated hypofluorescence throughout the study associated with superficial, and deep retinal hemorrhages. On the first post-operative day, visual acuity (VA) decreased more than 2 ETDRS lines in all cases. A pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) was performed in 5 eyes. All patients improved more than 2 ETDRS lines at a mean of 9 months after DCR.

Conclusions: A gradual decrease of IOP pre-operatively and intra-operatively is recommended in order to avoid this complication. Early vitrectomy represents a useful treatment in many cases. A previous history of glaucoma seems to be an important risk factor for the development of DCR.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure*
  • Male
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology*