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Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Retained perfluorocarbon liquid in the anterior chamber

Retained perfluorocarbon liquid in the anterior chamber

Category(ies): Retina, Vitreous
Contributor: Justin Risma, MD
Photographer: Brice Critser, CRA

Perfluorocarbon liquids (PFCLs) are utilized intraoperatively in retinal detachment surgery. They have a high specific gravity and thus can be used to displace subretinal fluid and manipulate giant retinal tears. Incomplete removal can lead to retained PFCL in the subretinal space, vitreous cavity, or anterior chamber. Retained PFCL in the anterior chamber has been reported to cause inflammation, secondary glaucoma, and corneal toxicity.

This 17-year-old male sustained an open globe injury at age 11, and subsequently underwent open globe repair, phacoemulsifcation with intraocular lens placement, and pars plana vitrectomy for tractional retinal detachment. Postoperatively, he was noted to have a large amount of PFCL in the anterior chamber. He reported intermittent visual blurring and he had mildly elevated intraocular pressure, but his cornea remained clear and he had no evidence of persistent intraocular inflammation. He was treated with topical aqueous suppressants and opted to forgo removal of the retained PFCL.