Macular abnormalities in patients with retinitis pigmentosa: prevalence on OCT examination and outcomes of vitreoretinal surgery

Acta Ophthalmol. 2011 Mar;89(2):e122-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2010.01866.x.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of macular abnormalities detected by optical coherence tomography (OCT) in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and to report the results of pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) in five patients with RP.

Methods: OCT images of the macula of 622 eyes of 323 patients with RP were evaluated. All patients had a complete clinical examination, and PPV was performed on two RP patients with a macular hole (MH), two patients with vitreomacular traction (VMT) syndrome, and one patient with cystoid macular oedema (CME).

Results: A macular lesion was detected by OCT in 46 eyes (7.4%) of 37 patients (11.5%). CME was detected in 34 eyes (5.5%) of 26 patients, an epiretinal membrane in four eyes of four patients, VMT in five eyes of four patients, and full-thickness MH in three eyes of three patients. PPV was performed on five of these eyes. The MH was closed with vision improvement after a single surgery in one eye, and was closed after repeated PPVs with a decrease of vision in another eye. In both patients with VMT, the visual acuity decreased after the surgery. The macular morphology and visual acuity did not improve postoperatively on the one patient with CME who underwent PPV.

Conclusion: When OCT is used, macular abnormalities are present in 7.4% of patients with RP, which is lower than the prevalence reported earlier. Although vitrectomy can improve the macular morphology in some patients with RP, improvement of visual function may be limited most likely because of the long-standing retinal dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea / pathology*
  • Macular Edema / diagnosis*
  • Macular Edema / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retinal Perforations / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / diagnosis*
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / surgery
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Vitreoretinal Surgery*