gms | German Medical Science

23rd Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society

German Retina Society

24.09. - 25.09.2010, Freiburg

Diagnostic vitrectomy in unclear intraocular inflammatory diseases

Meeting Abstract

  • Veronique Kitiratschky - University Eye Clinic Tübingen
  • K. U. Bartz-Schmidt - University Eye Clinic Tübingen
  • P. Szurman - University Eye Clinic Tübingen

German Retina Society. 23rd Annual Conference of the German Retina Society. Freiburg i. Br., 24.-25.09.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. Doc10rg65

doi: 10.3205/10rg65, urn:nbn:de:0183-10rg655

This is the translated version of the article.
The original version can be found at:

Published: September 21, 2010

© 2010 Kitiratschky et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: To assess the diagnostic value of air vitrectomy in severe intraocular inflammatory diseases of unknown origin.

Patients and Methods: Records of patients who underwent diagnostic vitrectomy were retrospectively reviewed. 86 patients with 1. clinical suspicion of vision or life threatening intraocular disease like viral retinitis, endogenous fungal endophthalmitis or intraocular lymphoma, or 2. atypical course of intraocular inflammation or inadequate response to empirical therapy were included. Exclusion criteria were immunosuppression, purulent infections of the anterior segment, and history of an intraocular foreign body or intraocular surgery during the last 7 days. To obtain a sufficient amount of undiluted vitreous specimen (>3 ml) vitrectomy was performed under air infusion. In selected cases an additional retinal biopsy was done. Specimen were sent for microbiological, virological and pathological analysis.

Results: By vitrectomy alone or in combination with retinal biopsy an intraocular lymphoma was diagnosed in 5 of 86 patients and suspected in another 2 patients. Infectious causes were identified in 28 of 86 patients with viruses of the human herpes group as the most prevalent cause (21 of 86). The most precise clinical diagnosis was achieved in patients with viral retinitis, while patients with unclear panuveitis and clinical suspicion of intraocular lymphoma were tested less often positive.

Conclusion: Diagnostic vitrectomy is a safe and useful procedure in the clinical management of possibly vision or life threatening inflammatory eye diseases. Air vitrectomy assures a large amount of undiluted vitreous specimen.