Restoration of photoreceptor outer segment after vitrectomy for retinal detachment

Am J Ophthalmol. 2010 Feb;149(2):284-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2009.08.025. Epub 2009 Nov 25.


Purpose: To report photoreceptor restoration and visual outcomes after vitrectomy for retinal detachment.

Design: Retrospective, observational case series.

Methods: We prospectively studied the tomographic features of reattached retinas in 20 eyes with a macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography 1, 3, and 6 months after 3-port vitrectomy with SF(6) gas tamponade. All eyes were examined more than 3 months after surgery.

Results: The optical coherence tomography foveal findings were classified as a disrupted inner segment and outer segment (IS/OS) line, a residual foveal detachment, and a continuous IS/OS line. A disrupted IS/OS line was seen in 11 eyes (55%) at 1 month and in 8 eyes (40%) at 3 months, a foveal detachment was seen in 8 eyes (40%) at 1 month and in 7 eyes (35%) at 3 months, and a continuous IS/OS line was seen in 1 eye (5%) at 1 month and in 5 eyes (25%) at 3 months. In 18 eyes followed up for 6 months, optical coherence tomography showed a disrupted IS/OS line in 3 eyes (17%), a foveal detachment in 6 eyes (33%), and a continuous IS/OS line in 9 eyes (50%). The mean best-corrected visual acuities at 1 and 6 months were 0.26 and 0.16 with a disrupted IS/OS line, 0.60 and 0.95 with a foveal detachment, and 0.8 and 0.95 with a continuous IS/OS line. The mean best-corrected visual acuity was significantly (P < .0001) lower with a disrupted IS/OS line compared with the other formations at 6 months.

Conclusions: The IS/OS line at the fovea recovered gradually after surgery. The postoperative visual acuity was correlated with a restored IS/OS line.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Retinal Detachment / diagnosis
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Retinal Photoreceptor Cell Outer Segment / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride / administration & dosage
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Vision Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*
  • Vitrectomy*
  • Young Adult


  • Sulfur Hexafluoride