PURPOSE: To determine whether bilateral patching with posturing is superior to posturing alone in visualizing the superior retina in suspected posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)-related vitreous hemorrhage (VH).
METHODS: Prospective randomized controlled trial: 80 patients with fundus-obscuring VH due to suspected retinal tear were randomized to strict posturing and bilateral patching overnight (Treatment A, 40 patients) or posturing (Treatment B, 40 patients).
PRIMARY OUTCOME: Visualization of ≥4 clock hours superior retina.
SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: laser treatment, vitrectomy rate, and retinal detachment within 12 months.
RESULTS: Intention-to-treat analysis: In 38/40 (95%) with Treatment A and 32/40 (80%) with Treatment B, the confirmed diagnosis was PVD-related VH. Visibility of the superior retina for all patients: 29/40 (73%) after Treatment A and 21/40 (53%) after Treatment B (P = 0.07). Subgroup analysis for confirmed PVD-related VH; visibility of the superior retina: 29/38 (76%) after Treatment A and 15/32 (47%) after Treatment B (P = 0.01). In subgroup analysis, vitrectomy rate within 12 months was 61% (Treatment A) and 53% (Treatment B) (P = 0.63). Retinal detachment: eight patients after each treatment.
CONCLUSION: In patients with suspected PVD-related VH, overnight bilateral patching was not superior to posturing alone in superior retina visualization, but in a post-hoc analysis of patients with confirmed PVD-related VH, bilateral patching was superior.