To investigate the safety and efficacy of pneumatic displacement of submacular hemorrhage without the use of intravitreal tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).
In a prospective, consecutive, single-center, noncomparative, interventional case series, 20 consecutive patients with submacular hemorrhage due to various etiologies (duration, 1–30 days; visual acuity, hand movements to 20/125) were treated with intravitreal perfluoropropane gas injection followed by prone positioning for 5 days to 7 days. Patients were observed 1 day, 7 days, 30 days, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after the procedure.
Submacular blood was completely or partially displaced from the fovea in 16 of 20 eyes within 7 days after the injection. Mean best-corrected visual acuity improved from 1.6 to 0.72 logarithm of minimum angle of resolution, which was statistically significant (Wilcoxon signed rank test, P = 0.001). Final visual acuity was 20/63 or better in 10 eyes (50%). The change in proportion of eyes with best-corrected visual acuity of 20/63 or better after treatment was statistically significant (McNemar test, P = 0.002). Four patients developed nonresolving vitreous hemorrhage, which necessitated vitrectomy.
The results of pneumatic displacement of submacular hemorrhage using perfluoropropane gas are encouraging, thus questioning the role of tPA in the management of such cases.