Purpose: To systematically review the influence of the lag time between macula-off retinal detachment and surgical intervention on postoperative visual acuity as main outcome measure.
Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of articles published from 1995 to October 2013 of patients with macula-off retinal detachment and treated with scleral buckling or pars plana vitrectomy. Eligible data were pooled in a meta-analysis, analyzing the odds ratio between different durations of ≤ 3, ≤ 4, ≤ 7, and ≤ 10 days, comparing a final visual acuity of ≤ 0.4 logMAR with >0.4 logMAR, using a random-effects model. Last, the number needed to treat was calculated.
Results: Fourteen articles were eligible, of which 9 studies contained data that were suitable for meta-analysis. Patients who were operated with scleral buckling (n = 602) within 3 days since macular detachment had a statistically significant better chance of reaching a final visual acuity of 0.4 logMAR or better compared with a longer duration of macular detachment, with an odds ratio for ≤ 3 days versus 4 days to 7 days of 2.86 (95% confidence interval, 1.37-5.99) and an odds ratio for ≤ 3 days versus >3 days of 3.09 (95% confidence interval, 1.56-6.12), and with a number needed to treat of 4. For pars plana vitrectomy, the limited amount of data precluded a meta-analysis with substantial results.
Conclusion: This meta-analysis suggests that scleral buckling for macular detachment must preferably be performed within 3 days to optimize visual outcome.