OCT Assistance in Identifying Retinal Breaks in Symptomatic Posterior Vitreous Detachments

Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2020 Nov 1;51(11):628-632. doi: 10.3928/23258160-20201104-04.


Background and objective: Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a separation of the posterior hyaloid from the retina that manifests as photopsias and floaters. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has demonstrated posterior vitreous opacities (PVOs) that may correlate with Shaffer's sign, which may correlate with retinal breaks.

Patients and methods: Patients with symptomatic PVDs were retrospectively reviewed at a single institution by a single provider. Masked qualitative review of SD-OCTs by a single reviewer determined presence of PVOs.

Results: Among 78 patients, PVOs were found in 32 of the patients (41%), and 19 (59%) had retinal breaks. In those without PVOs, six (13%) had a break. Sensitivity and specificity were 76.0% and 75.5%, respectively. Removing patients with vitreous hemorrhages, sensitivity, and specificity of PVOs was 82.4% and 86.4%, respectively.

Conclusion: In symptomatic PVDs, PVOs on OCT correlated with the presence of a retinal break, especially in the absence of a vitreous hemorrhage. [Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2020;51:628-632.].

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Retinal Perforations* / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Vitreous Body
  • Vitreous Detachment* / complications
  • Vitreous Detachment* / diagnosis