Retinal pigment epithelial tears. Patterns and prognosis

Ophthalmology. 1988 Jan;95(1):8-13.


Increasing experience with the diagnosis of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) tears has led to expanded recognition and understanding of this clinical entity. The authors report 18 RPE tears followed for an average of 28 months; 16 were associated with age-related macular degeneration and 2 with presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome. Retinal pigment epithelial dehiscences fell into four categories: nine spontaneous tears associated with choroidal neovascularization, one tear associated with an RPE detachment without choroidal neovascularization, four iatrogenic tears occurring at krypton treatment of choroidal neovascularization, and four iatrogenic tears developing weeks to months after laser treatment of choroidal neovascularization. Eight patients had a final visual acuity of 20/100 or better, four were 20/200, and six were 20/400 or worse. Photocoagulation, particularly with the use of krypton red laser, may be modified on the basis of possible RPE tear formation. Heightened awareness of the possibility of inducing pigment epithelial rips should improve diagnosis and management of these cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroid / blood supply
  • Eye Diseases / complications
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Eye Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease / etiology
  • Laser Therapy / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / surgery
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye* / injuries
  • Prognosis
  • Visual Acuity