Visual deterioration in patients with photoreceptor loss after retinal reattachment surgery

Sana Rasool, Megha Kaushik, Rishika Chaudhary, Karen Blachford, Martin Berry, Robert A. H. Scott, Ann Logan, Richard J. Blanch

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Assess the relationship between photoreceptor degeneration and visual function after retinal reattachment surgery (RRS) in a prospective cohort.

Patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) were reviewed before and 6 months after vitreoretinal surgery. Optical coherence tomographical thickness of the outer nuclear layer (ONL), outer retinal segment (ORS), retinal pigmented epithelium to ellipsoid zone (RPE-EZ) and external limiting membrane to EZ (ELM-EZ) were recorded 6 months post-operatively. These were compared to best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and retinal sensitivity (Humphrey visual field).

Thirteen macula-off and 8 macula-on RRD patients were included. The mean ONL thickness was higher after macula-on RRD compared to macula-off RRD (97.70 ± 3.62 μm vs. 73.10 ± 4.98 μm). In all RRD eyes, every 1 μm decrease in ONL thickness correlated with a 0.052 dB decrease and in retinal sensitivity and every 1 μm decrease in ORS thickness was associated with a 0.062 dB reduction in retinal sensitivity. ORS, ELM-EZ and RPE-EZ thickness did not correlate with BCVA post-RRS.

There was greater ONL and ORS thinning following macula-off compared to macula-on RRD. Correlations between ONL and ORS thinning with decreased retinal sensitivity may be explained by RRD-induced photoreceptor death.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2141-2147
Number of pages7
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2022


  • Apoptosis
  • OCT
  • Photoreceptors
  • Retinal detachment
  • Visual activity
  • Visual field


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