THE VITREOUS is altered pathologically in numerous ocular and systemic diseases. Hence, most physicians will encounter patients whose vision has been impaired by vitreous opacities or by the formation of membranes within the vitreous cavity. Only recently has the successful treatment of vitreous pathology become commonplace, primarily because of the development of specialized microsurgical techniques. To appreciate the importance of vitreous surgery in reducing the prevalence of blindness, a basic understanding of the disease processes affecting the vitreous is necessary.
The human vitreous is normally an optically clear gel consisting of 99% water and containing collagen and hyaluronic acid.1 The vitreous collagen is firmly attached to the internal limiting membrane of the retina anteriorly near the pars plana; weaker vitreoretinal attachments occur at the macula and at the optic disc.
With increasing age, the vitreous gel often collapses and separates from the posterior retinal surface.
Friberg TR. Advances in the Treatment of Vitreous Disease. JAMA. 1982;247(11):1623–1626. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360063041
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