Resolution of Retinal Detachment

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Retinal detachment found to resolve in retinoblastoma patients following intraarterial chemotherapy

"Retinal detachment will resolve following intraarterial chemotherapy (IAC), and its rate and completeness of resolution depends on the extent of the retinal detachment," according to Dr Carol Shields (Ocular Oncology Service, Wills Eye Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) when discussing the results of a recent study on the effect of IAC on retinoblastoma induced retinal detachments.1

In the retrospective, non-comparative, interventional case series, Dr Shields and colleagues examined 15 patients that were all undergoing IAC treatment for retinoblastoma. Data was collected retrospectively on all patients that met the inclusion criteria until the final followup visit.

Results and discussion

Out of the 15 patients examined, 7 had a total retinal detachment and 8 had a partial retinal detachment. "We found that the retinal detachment resolved completely if it was partial at presentation and often completely in cases of total retinal detachment," said Dr Shields. "Following chemotherapy, the retinoblastoma resolves fast, within 1–2 months, and the retinal detachment lags with slower resolution over 3–4 months."

In the group of patients with total retinal detachment, 3 patients achieved complete resolution of fluid and 4 patients achieved partial resolution. For the group of patients presenting with partial detachment there was 100% resolution achieved.

Previously, if a patient had total retinal detachment it was common to perform enucleation as it was presumed that there would be no visual potential noted Dr Shields. "Now, with IAC, we enucleate less often as we know that retinal detachment will probably completely resolve following treatment," she said.

"We are constantly looking at our data and results on IAC for retinoblastoma," added Dr Shields. "It would be nice to measure resolution per exact degree of retinal elevation so that we could better predict the rate of resolution and completeness of resolution."

Special contributor

Dr Carol Shields is an ocular oncologist at the Ocular Oncology Service, Wills Eye Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She may be reached by Email:

Dr Shields has indicated she has no financial interests in the subject matter.


1. C. Shields et al., Retina, 2012;32(4):799–804.