Long-term visual acuity and the duration of macular detachment: findings from a prospective population-based study

Br J Ophthalmol. 2013 Feb;97(2):149-52. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2012-302330. Epub 2012 Nov 17.


Aim: To report the long-term visual outcome of a multicentre prospectively recruited cohort of macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachments (RRD) METHODS: The Scottish retinal detachment study was a prospectively recruited study that recruited all incident cases of primary RRD in Scotland over a 2-year period (2007-2009). All patients with a macula-off RRD from four participating sites were invited for clinical examination at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after the initial surgery. Using a joinpoint model we estimated the effect of duration of macular detachment on final visual outcome.

Results: In total, there were 291 patients with macula-off RRD without pre-existing retinal disease who had successful repair after one operation. 65.9% achieved a final visual acuity (VA) of 0.48 logMAR(6/18). Our model identified two time points (day 8 (95% CI 3 to 15 days) and (day 21 (95% CI 6 to 26 days)) after which there was a statistically significant worsening in final VA.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that the majority of patients with macula-off RRD successfully repaired with one operation will achieve a VA of 6/18 or better at final follow-up. After 8 days of macular detachment, the final visual outcome may be adversely affected and, thus, operative repair within this period is desirable. Duration of macular detachment of ≤8 days demonstrated a continuing improvement in VA for up to 1 year, a finding which was not found in macula detachments of longer duration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Macula Lutea / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Detachment / epidemiology
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology*
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*