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Incidence and Pattern of Retinal Detachment in a Tertiary Eye Hospital in Nigeria

Sebastian N. N. Nwosu
Jideofor K. Ndulue
Cyriacus U. Akudinobi


Objectives: The aim was to determine the hospital incidence, pattern and clinical presentation of retinal detachment at the Guinness Eye Center, Onitsha, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Case files of all retinal detachment patients seen at the Guinness Eye Center Onitsha between June 1997 and May 2012 were reviewed. Information on age, gender, symptoms duration, type and anatomic location of detachment, presenting visual acuity, and predisposing factors were analyzed. Results: A total of 93 patients (99 eyes) were seen with a male preponderance (M:F = 2:1) and age range 10–89 years; median ‑ 61 years; mode ‑ 55 years; incidence ‑ 0.13%. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment comprised 93.6%. Symptoms duration was 5 days to 8 years; median ‑ 9 months; mode ‑ 6 months. All the affected eyes had low vision with 79.8% blind; of the unaffected eyes, 40.2% had low vision with 24.7% being blind. Trauma was the precipitating factor in 33 (35.5%) patients. Proliferative vitreoretinopathy, 19 (19.2%) eyes, and lattice degeneration, 13 (13.1) eyes, were the commonest ocular risk factors. Common ocular co‑morbidities in the affected eyes were cataract, 13 (13.1%) eyes; uveitis, 9 (9.1%) and glaucoma, 6 (6.1%) eyes. Supero‑temporal, subtotal and total detachment constituted 84.8%; the macula was detached in 91.4%. The tears in eyes with rhegmatogenous detachment ranged from 1 to 6, with 51 (54.8%) having multiple tears. 10 (10.8%) eyes had giant tears; 6 (6.5%) had dialysis and 3 (3.2%) had coexisting macula holes; in 73.1% the tears were located in the superior retina. Conclusions: Retinal detachment incidence is low in our hospital; most patients presented late with severe visual loss. A community‑based study will provide more information on the magnitude of the problem. Education of the public on retinal detachment symptoms, the predisposing/precipitating factors and the need for early reporting to hospital are required.

Keywords: Incidence, Nigeria, pattern, retinal detachment

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eISSN: 2468-8363
print ISSN: 0189-9171