Sequelae of Retinal Detachment
When any type of retinal detachment occurs, loss of the photoreceptor outer segments in the region of the detachment is the earliest change identified. With time, if the detachment is not repaired or does not resolve, other degenerative changes can be identified, including loss of the photoreceptor cells, migration of Müller cells, and proliferation and migration of RPE cells. RPE cells, when not in contact with the neurosensory retina, can undergo metaplasia, becoming fibroblast-like cells or even osseous tissue. In addition, the RPE may produce more basement membrane, focally leading to the formation of nodular and calcified drusen. Small cystic spaces develop in the detached retina over time, and in chronic detachment, these cysts may coalesce into large macrocysts (Fig 11-13).
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 4 - Ophthalmic Pathology and Intraocular Tumors. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.