Purpose: To determine the characteristics of patients developing retinal detachment secondary to retinal dialysis in Western Australia and to confirm the clinical impression that these patients had a low rate of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR).
Methods: A retrospective analysis of the records of 1601 consecutive patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment identified 71 patients in whom the retinal detachment was caused by a retinal dialysis.
Results: The majority of these patients were young adults (mean age of 30 years) and the male to female ratio was 1.3:1. Seventy per cent of patients provided a history of significant trauma to the affected eye. Sporting injuries, assault, and motor vehicle injuries together accounted for 72% of identifiable trauma. Examination revealed a dialysis of the inferotemporal quadrant in 75% of cases and despite obvious signs of chronicity of the associated retinal detachment (such as intraretinal macrocysts and demarcation lines) in approximately one-third of the eyes, only 5.6% developed grade CI PVR either pre- or postoperatively.
Conclusion: The present study supports the view that it is the low rate of PVR that explains the good prognosis and high surgical success rate for retinal detachments caused by retinal dialysis. It is postulated that a major reason for the low rate of PVR is that the vitreous base attachment to the posterior margin of a retinal dialysis acts as a significant barrier to the migration of potentially proliferative retinal pigment epithelial cells. This may lead to containment of the responsible proliferative cells within the loculated subretinal space.