Introduction: Qualitatively assess the possible delayed structural, macroscopic and microscopic changes in the neuro-retina, retinal vasculature, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and optic nerve head (ONH) after pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) surgery using a new hypersonic vitrector (HV).
Materials and methods: Eight live porcine eyes underwent PPV using either the HV or a conventional pneumatic guillotine vitrector (GV). The un-operated fellow eye from each pig was used as an external control. The pigs were post-operatively kept alive for 30 days before termination and enucleation of the eyes. Prior to enucleation, all eyes underwent examination of the lens and indirect ophthalmoscopy. Enucleated eyes were fixed in formalin, examined macroscopically and processed for histological assessment. Microscopic analysis included assessment of neuro-retina, retinal vasculature, RPE and ONH, as well as observation for any morphological intraocular changes. Comparison was made between: (1) treated and untreated areas of the same eye (internal control) (2) different areas within the same eye operated on using different vitrector settings (3) eyes operated on with the HV and GV (4) eyes receiving surgery and the fellow un-operated eye (external control, same pig).
Results: All lenses had remained clear at 30 days into the postoperative period. On indirect ophthalmoscopy, the retina had remained attached in all eyes with no visible changes to the neuro-retina, retinal vasculature, RPE or ONH. Two eyes showed localized RPE depigmentation secondary to previously documented intraoperative retinal touch. The Morphological changes in the retinal layers above depigmented RPE were no different from retinal change elsewhere. There were mild and similar microscopic changes observed in the neuro-retina, retinal vasculature, RPE or ONH associated with either the HV or GV PPVs. Preliminary histological findings revealed no significant differences between eyes operated on with the HV and those operated on the GV.
Discussion: At 30 days into the postoperative period, there seemed to be similar morphological changes attributable to the use of HV and GV. Therefore, the HV promises to be a new alternative to the currently commercially available GV for PPV.