Factors affecting visual recovery after successful repair of macula-off retinal detachments: findings from a large prospective UK cohort study

Eye (Lond). 2021 May;35(5):1431-1439. doi: 10.1038/s41433-020-1021-y. Epub 2020 Jun 24.


Objective: To identify risk factors affecting visual outcomes in successfully re-attached macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RD) surgery.

Design: A prospective study, using online databases, of visual outcomes for 2074 macula-off retinal detachments that were successfully re-attached by vitrectomy and internal tamponade. The database included detailed retinal diagrams of each detachment.

Main outcome measure: The probability of achieving a post-operative visual acuity (VA) of ≤0.30 LogMAR (Snellen 6/12 or better).

Results: Male patients accounted for 64.9% of the sample and the median age was 63 years old. The median pre-operative VA was counting fingers (LogMAR 1.98); this improved to 0.41 LogMAR post-operatively. A post-operative VA of ≤0.30 LogMAR was achieved for 1012 (48.8%) eyes and the factors affecting this were the patient age and gender, pre-operative VA, duration of central vision loss, PVR grade, lens status, total RD and the presence of any ocular co-pathology where the model area under the receiver operator curve was 71.6%.

Conclusions: From the identified risk factors that decrease the probability of achieving a post-operative visual acuity of ≤0.30 LogMAR, the most important modifiable risk factor was the duration of central vision loss. Recent macula-off retinal detachments should be repaired within 72 h of the loss of central vision.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Detachment* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scleral Buckling
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Vitrectomy