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Julia Meskauskas, Rodolfo Repetto, Jennifer H. Siggers; Shape Change of the Vitreous Chamber Influences Retinal Detachment and Reattachment Processes: Is Mechanical Stress during Eye Rotations a Factor?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(10):6271-6281. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.11-9390.
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We aim to understand how mechanical causation influences retinal detachment and reattachment processes. In particular, myopes suffer retinal detachment more frequently than emmetropes, and following a retinal detachment, scleral buckling promotes retinal reattachment. We test the hypothesis that stresses arising from saccadic eye rotations are involved in the processes, and that the alteration in the stress due to the change in the vitreous chamber geometry is sufficient to explain the phenomena.
The vitreous chamber of the eye has an approximately spherical shape and it is filled with vitreous humor. We developed a mathematical model, treating the vitreous chamber in emmetropic and myopic eyes as a spheroid and in eyes subjected to scleral buckling as a sphere with a circumferential indentation. We assume that the eye performs prescribed small-amplitude, periodic, torsional rotations and we solve semi-analytically for the fluid pressure, velocity, and stress distributions.
The shape of the vitreous chamber has a large effect on the retinal stress. The vitreous and the retina of a highly myopic eye continuously experience shear stresses significantly higher than those of an emmetropic eye. An eye fitted with a scleral buckle experiences large stress levels localized around the buckle.
Our results provide a mechanical explanation for the more frequent occurrence of posterior vitreous detachment and retinal detachment in myopic eyes. To understand how the stress distribution in a buckled eye facilitates reattachment, an additional model of the details of the reattachment process should be coupled to this model.
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