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May 1989

Kinetics of Intraocular GasesDisappearance of Air, Sulfur Hexafluoride, and Perfluoropropane After Pars Plana Vitrectomy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(5):687-691. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010705031

• Intraocular gas bubbles are an important source of internal tamponade for the treatment of retinal breaks in eyes requiring vitrectomy. The kinetics of disappearance of air, 20% sulfur hexafluoride, and 10% perfluoropropane were prospectively evaluated in 76 eyes undergoing pars plana vitrectomy. The absorption of each gas approximated a first-order kinetic equation with respect to bubble volume. The half-life of air was 1.6 days in phakic and 0.9 days in aphakic eyes. The half-life of 20% sulfur hexafluoride was 2.8 days in phakic and 2.4 days in aphakic eyes. The half-life of 10% perfluoropropane was 5.7 days in phakic, 4.5 days in aphakic, and 4.3 days in pseudophakic eyes. The difference in half-life among the three gases was significant. Intraocular gases had a shorter half-life in aphakic than in phakic eyes.