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February 1996

Vascular Consequences of Retinectomy

Author Affiliations

From the Vitreo-retinal Service, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, England (Drs Bourke and Cooling); and the Ophthalmology Department, Royal Brisbane (Australia) Hospital (Dr Bourke).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(2):155-160. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130149006

Objective:  To define the vascular sequelae of retinectomy.

Design:  Clinical and angiographic survey of patients who had undergone retinectomy procedures.

Patients:  Twenty consecutive patients with ambulatory vision and attached posterior retina after retinectomy procedures underwent ophthalmic examination, including retinal biomicroscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy with scleral indentation, and peripheral retinal fluorescein angiography.

Results:  Ten eyes (50%) showed anterior retinal neovascularization (NV), with vessels derived from the ciliary body or posterior retina. Neovascularization occurred in residual anterior retina adjacent to the retinectomy, in detached anterior retina demarcated by laser in quadrants not involved by retinectomy, and in fibrinous membranes extending anterior to the retinectomy edge. This was associated with postoperative vitreous hemorrhages in two patients. Iris NV and inferior iridectomy occlusion were strongly associated with retinal NV (Fisher's exact test, P<.005). No patient had neovascular glaucoma or optic disc NV during a median follow-up of 250 days (range, 121 to 465).

Conclusions:  Retinectomy may have profound secondary effects on ocular vascular circulation, resulting in retinal NV in association with iris NV, occlusion of inferior iridectomies, and vitreous hemorrhage. Complete intraoperative removal of residual anterior retina to the ora serrata in quadrants involved by retinectomy, combined with prophylactic retinal laser treatment from the vitreous base to the ora in the remaining quadrants, is recommended to prevent the development of retinal NV and its associated complications.