Posterior Vitreous Detachment: Current Concepts and Management

Alan Ang, FRCO; Arabella V. Poulson, FRCO; David R.J. Snead, FRCP; Martin P. Snead, Md, FRCO

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Posterior vitreous detachment occurs commonly in the human eye and is characterized by the separation of the posterior hyaloid membrane from the retinal surface. In most cases, posterior hyaloid membrane separation takes place without complication, but in a minority of patients, potentially sight-threatening rhegmatogenous complications of the retina may occur. Recognition of the symptoms, accurate assessment of the risk factors, early thorough examination of the vitreous and retina, followed by appropriate management strategy of patients represent the cornerstones of posterior vitreous detachment management.

Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a common but yet incompletely understood event in the eye. The importance of PVD is twofold: First, PVD represents a critical moment in the natural history of the human eye with respect to the development of retinal tears; second, the presence or absence of a PVD strongly influences the progression and outcome of important vitreoretinal diseases.[1,2,3,4] In this article, we review the published literature on PVD and discuss the management of recent-onset PVD.