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Traumatic retinal detachment.
  1. P B Johnston
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


    Seventy-seven patients developed retinal breaks following an episode of ocular contusion, and 65 (84.4%) of these developed rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. Surgical treatment successfully restored or maintained retinal apposition in 74 (96.1%) of the eyes. Thirty-six (46.8%) eyes recovered visual acuity of 6/9 or better. Of the retinal breaks recognised dialysis at the ora serrata was observed in 49 eyes, of which 28 were situated at the lower temporal quadrant. Seventeen eyes had irregular breaks arising within necrotic retina at the site of scleral impact. Twenty-four (31.2%) patients had retinal break or retinal detachment diagnosed within 24 hours of injury and 49 (63.6%) within six weeks. Immediate retinal detachment was a feature of necrotic retinal breaks, while inferior oral dialyses led to a slow accumulation of subretinal fluid. Delayed diagnosis of retinal detachment was due either to opaque media or to failure to examine the retina after injury. Visual prognosis was good when retinal break or detachment were diagnosed within six weeks of injury. However, those patients who escaped initial retinal examination and were lost to follow-up had a less favourable visual outcome.

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