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Swept-source optical coherence tomography imaging of the cortical vitreous and the vitreoretinal interface in proliferative diabetic retinopathy: assessment of vitreoschisis, neovascularisation and the internal limiting membrane
  1. Mahiul M K Muqit1,2,
  2. Paulo E Stanga1,2,3
  1. 1 Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, UK
  2. 2 Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and Centre for Ophthalmology and Vision Research, Institute of Human Development,University of Manchester, UK
  3. 3 Manchester Vision Regeneration (MVR) Lab at NIHR/ Wellcome Trust CRF, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Paulo E Stanga, University of Manchester, Manchester Vision Regeneration (MVR) Lab, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M139WH, UK; retinaspecialist{at}

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Anomalous posterior vitreous detachment leads to shrinkage of the inner vitreous with the outer precortical vitreous cortex remaining attached to the macula and retina, resulting in vitreoschisis.1 Sebag and coworkers have reported vitreoschisis in macular disorders, and vitreoschisis has been demonstrated using ultrasonography and histopathology.24 Swept-source OCT (SS-OCT) is a new imaging technology (Atlantis DRI-OCT-1, Topcon, Japan). We demonstrate for the first time in vivo the microstructural tomographic features of and spatial vitreoretinal relationships between vitreoschisis, retinal and optic nerve head neovascularisation, detachment of the internal limiting membrane (ILM) and traction on the neuroretina in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR).

We identified four diabetic patients with PDR who were previously treated with panretinal laser photocoagulation at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Patients had no history of intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor or steroid treatment, or previous surgical intervention. All patients were phakic with no other ocular comorbidity. Patients underwent SS-OCT imaging as part of their routine ophthalmic care. The study adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

SS-OCT imaging showed hyper-reflective fibrovascular neovascularisation elsewhere (NVE) complexes on the retinal surface and adherent to the ILM. Hyper-reflective neovascularisation at the optic disc (NVD) loops and complexes (figure 1A) were shown to extend along the inner aspects of the disc and peripapillary ILM surface. A split within the posterior cortical vitreous was visualised as two distinct hyper-reflective bands (figure 1A). The inner and outer posterior cortical vitreous layers produced similar reflectivity signals with a bilinear appearance on the SS-OCT scans. In another case, with greater antero-posterior vitreous separation, an anomalous split within the posterior cortical vitreous was clearly visible between the NVD and NVE anchorage points on SS-OCT. A detached macular ILM with sub-ILM haemorrhage …

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  • Contributors Substantial contributions to the intellectual content of the paper as follows: design and hypothesis of study, data acquisition, data analysis and interpretation, patient recruitment and data acquisition (MMKM, PES). Substantial contributions to the written content of the paper as follows: drafting of the manuscript, and critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content (MMKM, PES).

  • Funding This research has been supported by the Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre (MAHSC) and the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and the Manchester Vision Regeneration (MVR) Lab.

  • Competing interests PES, Topcon.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.