In patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD), retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) loss may affect postoperative vision, according to a study published in BMC Ophthalmology

Researchers examined patients who underwent pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) with silicone oil tamponade for RRD from January 2020 to May 2021 at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University. They collected venous blood samples from all participants prior to 8:00 am on the second day of admission following a 12-hour fast for blood counts. They compared the differences of retinal structure between RRD and contralateral eyes at 1 week after surgery. 

A total of 25 study eyes were compared with the normal contralateral eyes. The mean age of patients (13 women, 12 men) with RRD was 55.24±10.77 years (range: 31-75 years), and the average duration of RRD before surgery was 16.80±15.40 days (range: 2-60 days). In the study eyes, the mean postoperative best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was better than preoperative BCVA (P =.148). 

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Researchers found focal loss volume (FLV) (2.009±1.286)% significantly increased in study eyes compared with the contralateral eyes (P <.001). They also found that monocyte-to-high-density lipoprotein was significantly positively correlated with GCC thickness parameters, and negatively correlated with FLV as well as global loss volume (GLV). The final results revealed that postoperative BCVA was negatively correlated with GLV in the study eyes (P =.039, R2=0.172).

“Retinal ganglion cell loss might present early postoperatively in RRD eyes, and was associated with systemic inflammation,” according to the researchers. “RGCs loss might affect postoperative vision.”

Study limitations included its cross sectional design, relatively small sample size, lack of follow-up visit, and researchers did not completely exclude factors that may influence GCC parameters and inflammatory markers, including controllable hypertension.  


Song J, Chen T, Zuo W, Chen W, Lei M, Ai M. Changes of retinal ganglion cell complex after vitrectomy in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment patients and its correlation with inflammatory blood biomarkers. BMC Ophthalmol. Published online July 2, 2022. doi:10.1186/s12886-022-02512-w