Surgical management of submacular hemorrhage: experience at an academic Canadian centre Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To report the anatomical and visual outcomes of patients with thick submacular hemorrhage (SMH) treated with pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), subretinal tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), and pneumatic displacement. DESIGN: Single-centre, retrospective case series. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 99 eyes of 99 consecutive patients with thick SMH secondary to any underlying etiology treated with PPV with subretinal t-PA and pneumatic displacement by 6 vitreoretinal surgeons at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, between July 2004 and August 2016. METHODS: All medical records and colour fundus photographs were reviewed for data collection. Blood displacement was evaluated at follow-up visits and classified as complete, partial, or none. Main outcome measures included blood displacement at final follow-up, postoperative Snellen best-corrected visual acuities (BCVA), and complication and recurrence rates. RESULTS: Patients had a mean age of 77.7 ± 12.3 years and were followed up for an average of 18.4 ± 22.3 months. Wet age-related macular degeneration was the most common etiology associated with thick SMH (80.8%). Complete blood displacement was observed by final follow-up in 85.9% of the cases, partial displacement in 12.1%, and none in 2.0%. Mean logMAR BCVA improved from 2.03 ± 0.81 (Snellen 20/2143) at baseline to 1.80 ± 1.00 (Snellen 20/1262; p = 0.009) at final follow-up, and baseline BCVA was a significant predictor of final BCVA (p < 0.001). Early postoperative complications included vitreous hemorrhage in 13 eyes and rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in 8. Recurrent SMH was observed in 12 cases. CONCLUSIONS: Vitrectomy with subretinal t-PA and pneumatic displacement seems to be an effective treatment for SMH in terms of blood displacement and visual outcomes.


  • Juncal, Verena R
  • Hanout, Mostafa
  • Altomare, Filiberto
  • Chow, David R
  • Giavedoni, Louis R
  • Muni, Rajeev H
  • Wong, David
  • Berger, Alan R

publication date

  • August 2018

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