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Long-term visual acuity and the duration of macular detachment: findings from a prospective population-based study


Aim To report the long-term visual outcome of a multicentre prospectively recruited cohort of macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachments (RRD)

Methods The Scottish retinal detachment study was a prospectively recruited study that recruited all incident cases of primary RRD in Scotland over a 2-year period (2007–2009). All patients with a macula-off RRD from four participating sites were invited for clinical examination at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after the initial surgery. Using a joinpoint model we estimated the effect of duration of macular detachment on final visual outcome.

Results In total, there were 291 patients with macula-off RRD without pre-existing retinal disease who had successful repair after one operation. 65.9% achieved a final visual acuity (VA) of 0.48 logMAR(6/18). Our model identified two time points (day 8 (95% CI 3 to 15 days) and (day 21 (95% CI 6 to 26 days)) after which there was a statistically significant worsening in final VA.

Conclusions Our study suggests that the majority of patients with macula-off RRD successfully repaired with one operation will achieve a VA of 6/18 or better at final follow-up. After 8 days of macular detachment, the final visual outcome may be adversely affected and, thus, operative repair within this period is desirable. Duration of macular detachment of ≤8 days demonstrated a continuing improvement in VA for up to 1 year, a finding which was not found in macula detachments of longer duration.

  • Retina
  • Epidemiology
  • Vision

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