To evaluate a sequential approach of pneumatic displacement followed by vitrectomy (pars plana vitrectomy) in failed cases to deal with submacular hemorrhage (SMH) of various etiologies.
Retrospective, nonrandomized interventional case series of consecutive patients with SMH of up to 2 weeks’ duration, who were treated with a stepwise approach. Step 1 involved intravitreal injection of 0.3 mL 100% C3F8 and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator 50 μg/0.1 mL. If unsuccessful, a prompt pars plana vitrectomy with subretinal recombinant tissue plasminogen activator 50 μg/0.1 mL and 20% SF6 gas tamponade was performed as a second attempt to displace the SMH.
Thirty-one patients with SMH underwent pneumatic displacement; 24 (77.4%) had a successful outcome without further intervention. The mean presenting visual acuity of the “successful cohort” was 1.34 logMAR (20/440 Snellen), improving to 0.83 logMAR (20/135 Snellen) 1 month after treatment. Five of the seven patients with failed pneumatic displacement underwent pars plana vitrectomy with subretinal recombinant tissue plasminogen activator at an average of 5 days poststep 1, with successful SMH displacement in 3 patients, giving an overall success of 87.1% for this treatment protocol.
A sequential approach of expansile gas injection followed by prompt pars plana vitrectomy, aided by recombinant tissue plasminogen activator at both steps, is a coherent, logical pathway to treat SMH with high anatomical and functional success.