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About Retinal Detachments

Which of the following statements is TRUE regarding acute traumatic retinal detachments?
  • (A) Most detachments can be visualized on standard fundoscopy
  • (B) Eighty percent of detachments occur within 24 h of the traumatic event
  • (C) Most detachments originate in the inferotemporal quadrant
  • (D) Visual outcome depends on the extent of involvement of the optic disc
  • (E) Sudden onset of pain is a prominent feature

The answer is C. 
The typical retinal detachment is heralded by painless flashes of light, floaters, and a shade across the visual field. Interestingly, most detachments follow a latent period, up to 8 months posttrauma in 50 percent of cases.

Detachments begin as small tears in the ora serrata (called dialysis), most frequently affecting the inferotemporal quadrant, followed by the superonasal quadrant. Because most detachments are very peripherally situated on the retina, standard fundoscopy is typically inadequate for visualization. Although a number of techniques have been developed to correct the detachment, visual outcome remains largely determined by the degree of macular involvement.

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