Retinal Detachment

retinal detachment

Definition: An ocular emergency that requires immediate medical attention and surgery. Separation of the retina’s sensory and pigment layers. Can result in devastating damage to the vision if left untreated. Occurs most frequently in the middle-aged and elderly. Other risk factors include: severe myopia (long eyeball and thin retina), and diabetes (scars).

Cause: trauma, tumour, exudative/ inflammatory process, scar

Symptoms: light flashes, veil or curtain obstructing vision, shower of floaters that resemble spots, bugs, or spider webs, sudden decrease of vision

US: V-shaped retina, retina remains attached at optic disc, subretinal space filled with echogenic material (blood, inflammation, tumour)

Differential diagnoses: vitreous membranes, choroidal detachment

Reference: Dähnert W. Radiology Review Manual, 5th edition, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Credit: Dr Marina-Portia Anthony