Importance: Pneumatic retinopexy (PnR) is associated with superior visual acuity and reduced vertical metamorphopsia compared with pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). It is important to determine postoperative photoreceptor integrity with both surgical techniques.
Objective: To compare photoreceptor integrity on spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) between PnR and PPV at 12 months postoperatively.
Design, setting, and participants: Post hoc analysis of the Pneumatic Retinopexy Versus Vitrectomy for the Management of Primary Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment Outcomes Randomized Trial (PIVOT) conducted between August 2012 and May 2017 at St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Primary RRDs with specific criteria were included. Data were analyzed between April and August 2020.
Intervention: Randomization to PnR vs PPV stratified by macular status.
Main outcomes and measures: Difference in proportion of patients with discontinuity of the ellipsoid zone (EZ) and external limiting membrane (ELM) between groups assessed independently by 2 masked graders at an external masked image reading center.
Results: A total of 150 participants completed the 12-month follow-up visit. A total of 145 patients (72 PPV and 73 PnR) had gradable spectral-domain optical coherence tomography at 12 months. Analysis of the central 3-mm (foveal) scans found that 24% (n = 17 of 72) vs 7% (n = 5 of 73) displayed EZ discontinuity (difference, 17%; odds ratio [OR], 4.204; 95% CI, 1.458-12.116; P = .005) and 20% (n = 14 of 71) vs 6% (n = 4 of 73) displayed ELM discontinuity (difference, 14%; OR, 4.237; 95% CI, 1.321-13.587; P = .01) in the PPV and PnR groups, respectively. Analysis of the 6-mm (foveal and nonfoveal) scans revealed that EZ and ELM discontinuity was greater in the PPV vs PnR groups (EZ, 32% [n = 23 of 72] vs 11% [n = 8 of 73]; difference, 21%; OR, 3.814; 95% CI, 1.573-9.249; P = .002; ELM, 32% [n = 23 of 71] vs 18% [n = 13 of 73]; difference, 14%; OR, 2.211; 95% CI, 1.015-4.819; P = .04).
Conclusions and relevance: Discontinuity of the EZ and ELM was more common at 12 months postoperatively following PPV vs PnR for RRD repair. The findings of this post hoc analysis suggest that less discontinuity of the EZ and ELM may provide an anatomic basis for the previously reported superior functional outcomes with PnR, although the analysis does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01639209.