Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment
Publish date 06-03-2016

Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment due to large posterior tear near the superior arcade © 2017 American Academy of Ophthalmology




Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment

Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment is caused by breaks, holes or tears in the retina which allow the fluid to pass from vitreous cavity to subretinal area between the retina and retinal pigment epithelial causing the sensory retina to be separated from the underlying retinal pigment epithelial layer.


Risk factors for Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment

1- Posterior Vitreous Detachment

Separation of vitreous from the retinal occur normally in older patients and there are factors that causing the vitreous to detach in younger age like in myopic patient, trauma, intraocular inflammation and diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes with posterior vitreous detachment there will be traction on the retina with tear formation causing retinal detachment.

2- High Myopia 

Myopic patient will have high incidence of retinal detachment because of high incidence of lattice degeneration, earlier posterior vitreous detachment and more peripheral retinal lesions.

3- Intraocular Surgeries

Intraocular surgeries can increase the risk of retinal detachment especially when associated with vitreous loss. Surgeries that can cause detachment are cataract extraction, keratoplasty or corneal graft surgery and also can occur after YAG laser capsulotomy.

4- Peripheral Retinal Lesions 

There are specific lesions on the peripherally of the retinal which might increase the risk of retinal detachment. Two of these lesions are lattice degeneration and atrophic holes.


  • Lattice Degeneration

lattice degeneration in the peripheral retina© 2017 American Academy of OphthalmologyThey are linear areas in which the retina is thin which will increase the incidence of retinal break or tear with posterior vitreous detachment. The vitreous is firmly attached to the edge of lattice degeneration and the vitreous overlying the lattice itself is liquefied and once there are tears, breaks or holes in the lattice, this liquefied vitreous will have access to the subretinal area causing retinal detachment.

  • Atrophic Holes




Which occur in areas in which the retina is thin like in lattice. They will predispose to retinal detachment.

5- Trauma

Trauma can cause detachment by creating peripheral tears or breaks after blunt trauma to the eyes. Also penetrating trauma can cause retinal lesions and breaks.

6- Intraocular Inflammation and Infection

Intraocular inflammation or infection can cause retinal detachment. This inflammation will cause necrosis and death of cells in the retina which will become thin.

7- Collagen Diseases

Collagen diseases like Marfan’s syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome can predispose to retinal detachment because collagen is an important component of the retina and in these syndromes.