PAVE syndrome could be fatal

July 1, 2013

Presumed Air by Vitrectomy Embolisation (PAVE) could be a fatal syndrome, states a paper in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Presumed Air by Vitrectomy Embolisation (PAVE) could be a fatal syndrome, states a paper in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

A study led by Dr Robert E. Morris, Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, included the analysis of three cases of suspected venous air embolism (VAE). The team investigated how air exits the eye through vortex veins after accidental suprachoroidal air infusion.

The group performed vitrectomy on four donor eyes. During air fluid exchange the unsutured cannulas were partially withdrawn and this produced choroidal detachments that imitated accidental suprachoroidal air infusion from a slipping cannula. A water bath was used to partially submerge eyes with and without clamping of the vortex vein stumps.

According to the findings, extensive choroidal detachment was created in all eyes and all patients with open vortex veins demonstrated rapid air extravasation/bubbling.

The results of the experiment support the recognition of PAVE and demonstrate that simple surgical precautions can prevent the potentially fatal vitrectomy complication.

Please click here to read the abstract.