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Romesh I. Angunawela, Ali Azarbadegan, G. William Aylward, Ian Eames; Intraocular Fluid Dynamics and Retinal Shear Stress after Vitrectomy and Gas Tamponade. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(10):7046-7051. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6872.
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To evaluate fluid dynamics and fluid shear stress on the retinal wall in a model eye after vitrectomy and gas tamponade in relation to saccadic eye movements and sudden head movements and to correlate the results with gas fill fraction (GF).
Analyses was undertaken using high-resolution computational fluid dynamic software. The fluid volume within the eye was discretized using 6 × 105 elements and solved with a volume-of-fluid method. The eye was abstracted to a sphere. Vertical and horizontal saccades and sudden rectilinear displacement of the head were examined. GF was varied from 20% to 80% of the eye height filled with gas.
Maximum shear stress during horizontal and vertical saccades was 1.0 Pa (Pascal) and 2.5 Pa, respectively, and was dependent on GF. Rapid rectilinear acceleration of the head caused a maximum shear stress of 16 Pa, largely independent of GF. Fluid sloshing within the eye decayed within 0.1 second. Stresses were maximum at the contact line and equator of the eye and were parallel to the direction of motion.
This study predicts that saccadic eye movements and normal head movements after vitrectomy and gas tamponade generate only small fluid shear stresses on the retina that are below published norms for retinal adhesion strength. Sudden, jerking head movements generate fluid shear forces similar to retinal adhesion strength that localize to the area of gas–fluid interface. Fluid sloshing occurs after movement, but rapidly decays on cessation of movement. These results suggest that restrictive posturing after vitrectomy and gas tamponade may be unnecessary. Patients should avoid sudden head movements.
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