Purpose: This study was conducted to determine whether visual outcomes have improved after repair of retinal detachments (RDs) associated with cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis, and, if so, whether factors such as earlier intervention and changes in surgical technique have led to these results. Methods: The authors performed a retrospective review of 35 eyes in 30 immunocompromised patients with CMV retinitis and RD who underwent pars plana vitrectomy with the use of silicone oil injection. Visual and anatomic results in eyes treated between January 1991 and April 1992 (group 1) were compared with eyes treated before January 1991 (group 2). Follow-up was limited due to patient mortality; median follow-up was 4.1 months in group 1 and 2.5 months in group 2. Results: Best-attained postoperative visual acuities were better for group 1 than group 2 eyes, with 71% of group 1 eyes attaining visual acuity of 20/200 or better compared with 17% of group 2 eyes (chi-square, trend = 12.3; P < 0.001). A similar result was found among eyes with macula-off detachments. Ambulatory visual acuity of 5/200 or better was achieved in 86% of group 1 versus 33% of group 2 eyes. There was a longer interval between diagnosis and surgery in group 2 compared with group 1 (7 versus 3 days); scleral buckling in conjunction with pars plana vitrectomy and silicone oil injection was used in more group 1 eyes. Conclusion: Earlier intervention, absence of preoperative optic atrophy, and macular CMV correlate with better postoperative visual acuity results. Pars plana vitrectomy combined with silicone oil for eyes with macula-off RDs can result in improved visual acuity.
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