Smoking Increases Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy Risk in Retinal Detachment 

Both current and former smoking status is a risk factor for proliferative vitreoretinopathy in patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.

Smoking increases proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) risk in patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD), according to a poster presented at the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) meeting, held in Seattle, July 28 to August 1, 2023. The study shows no significant differences in risk between current and former smoking status. 

A prior investigation had evaluated smoking as a PVR risk factor after trauma-induced RRD, but this study is the first to report on the association in patients with nontrauma-related RRD, according to the investigators. The researchers, led by Loyola Stritch School of Medicine researcher Damla Oncel, BS, and Samuel Minaker, MD, MSc, of Rush University Medical Center/Illinois Retina Associates, calculated the rate of PVR in each subset patient population that was grouped according to their smoking status. Researchers took into account patients’ age, sex, lens status, and visual acuities. 

It could be beneficial to discuss tobacco use and cessation with patients who have a previous history of retinal detachment.

The study found 57,264 eyes that had a postoperative visit within 1 month following RRD diagnosis (62% men), with 9% of them demonstrating RRD in both eyes. 

The rate of PVR was highest in the eyes that had visual acuity worse than 20/200. After the RRD, 11% of the eyes developed PVR.

The team reported that the rate of PVR was highest in the subset actively smoking (13.8%), followed by those who have ceased smoking (13.1%) and then those who have never smoked (10.9%). The odds ratio for PVR in active smokers was 1.31 (95% Cl, 1.12-1.43; P <.0001), and 1.23 in former smokers (95% Cl, 1.16- 1.32; P <.0001).

PVR development was also high among patients with pseudophakic lenses (13%), compared with those with phakic lenses (10%).

“It could be beneficial to discuss tobacco use and cessation with patients who have a previous history of retinal detachment,” the presenters explained.

The research was limited in that it depended on self-reporting or smoking status. 


Oncel D, Minaker S, Shepherd EA, et al. Smoking as risk factor for proliferative vitreoretinopathy. Poster presented at: American Society of Retinal Specialists (ASRS) 41st Annual Meeting; July 28-August 1, 2023; Seattle.