Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Exp Med. May 20, 2021; 11(3): 30-36
Published online May 20, 2021. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v11.i3.30
Spontaneous posterior vitreous detachment: A glance at the current literature
Paola Ramovecchi, Carlo Salati, Marco Zeppieri
Paola Ramovecchi, Carlo Salati, Marco Zeppieri, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Udine, Udine 33100, Italy
Author contributions: Ramovecchi P wrote the paper; Salati C assisted in the writing, editing and making critical revisions of the manuscript; Zeppieri M was responsible for the conception and design of the study, assisted in the writing, outline, final approval of the version of the article to be published and completed the English and scientific editing.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Marco Zeppieri, BSc, MD, PhD, Doctor, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Udine, p.le S. Maria della Misericordia 15, Udine 33100, Italy.
Received: March 18, 2021
Peer-review started: March 18, 2021
First decision: May 14, 2021
Revised: May 14, 2021
Accepted: May 20, 2021
Article in press: May 20, 2021
Published online: May 20, 2021

Spontaneous posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a common age-related condition in which prevalence tends to increase with age. Acute PVD can cause the onset of symptoms that include visual disturbances, myodesopsia and photopsia. The goal of this short review was to provide a quick glance at the important factors related to PVD based on current literature in this field, which includes incidence, symptoms, diagnosis, risk factors, and education for patients with acute symptoms, and treatments. The take home message is that an ophthalmic examination at the onset of symptoms is of utmost importance, considering that irreversible sight-threatening complications can be prevented if diagnosed and treated promptly.

Keywords: Spontaneous posterior vitreous detachment, Vitreous liquefaction, Photopsia, Vitreal adhesion, Myodesopsia, Vitreoretinal traction, Retinal detachment

Core Tip: Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) tends to be a benign condition related to aging. Acute PVD can cause the onset of symptoms like flashes, visual disturbances, and floaters. Current literature has provided new explanations of the mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal PVD. Incidence, prevalence, and risk factors are important in assessing patients. New diagnostic tools like optical coherence tomography have assisted in providing objective evaluation of patients. Treatment with vitrectomy and laser and pharmacological vitreolysis are available, but are seldom considered because they can be invasive and can worsen symptoms. Patients must be educated to seek an ophthalmologic examination that includes a dilated fundus evaluation at the onset of important signs and symptoms, especially those with risk factors, because early diagnosis and treatment can prevent irreversible vision loss.