Which conditions are associated with retinal detachment?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Hemang K Pandya, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Bruce M Lo, MD, MBA, CPE, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM, FACHE  more...
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Answer

Retinal detachments may be associated with congenital malformations, metabolic disorders, trauma (including previous ocular surgery), [1] vascular disease, choroidal tumors, high myopia or vitreous disease, or degeneration.

Of the 3 types of retinal detachment, rhegmatogenous RD is the most common, deriving its name from rhegma, meaning rent or break. Vitreous fluid enters the break and separates the sensory retina from the underlying RPE, resulting in detachment. [2]

Exudative or serous detachments occur when subretinal fluid accumulates and causes detachment without any corresponding break in the retina. The etiologic factors are often tumor growth or inflammation. These types of retinal detachment do not usually require surgical intervention. Correction of the underlying disorder typically leads to resolution of these detachments.

Tractional retinal detachment occurs as a result of adhesions between the vitreous gel/fibrovascular proliferation and the retina. Mechanical forces cause the separation of the retina from the RPE without a retinal break. Advanced adhesion may result in the eventual development of a tear or break. The most common causes of tractional retinal detachment are proliferative diabetic retinopathy, sickle cell disease, advanced retinopathy of prematurity, and penetrating trauma.

Retinal detachments are shown in the images below.

Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institu Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institute, Detroit, Michigan.
Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institu Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institute, Detroit, Michigan.
Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institu Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institute, Detroit, Michigan.
Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institu Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institute, Detroit, Michigan.
Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institu Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institute, Detroit, Michigan.
Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institu Retinal detachment. Courtesy of Kresge Eye Institute, Detroit, Michigan.

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