Purpose: To establish the necessity for an early follow-up examination after an initial funduscopic examination with negative results for patients with acute, symptomatic posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). Design: Retrospective case-control study and meta-analysis. Methods: Records were reviewed of patients seeking treatment over a 4.5-year period who were diagnosed with an acute, symptomatic PVD. A MEDLINE search to identify all published observational case studies reporting vitreoretinal pathologic features after acute, symptomatic PVD. Results: The incidence of retinal tears in eyes with a symptomatic PVD was 8.2%. The overall rate of retinal break in the meta-analysis portion of the study was 21.7%. In total, 1.8% of patients had retinal tears that were not seen on initial examination. Of the 29 patients with delayed-onset retinal breaks, 24 (82.8%) had at least one of the following: vitreous hemorrhage at initial examination, hemorrhage in the peripheral retina at initial examination, or new symptoms. Conclusions: If the results of an initial examination of a patient with an acute, symptomatic PVD are negative for retinal tears, the necessity of early follow-up may be best determined by the presence of pigmented cells in the vitreous, vitreous hemorrhage, or retinal hemorrhage. Most patients with symptomatic PVD may not need an early follow-up examination.
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