Characteristics of eyes with inner retinal cleavage

Young Hoon Hwang, Yong Yeon Kim, Hwang Ki Kim, Yong Ho Sohn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Inner retinal cleavage can be misdiagnosed as a glaucomatous retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) defect. This study was performed to characterize eyes with inner retinal cleavage.

    Methods: Inner retinal cleavage is defined as the appearance of a dark spindle-shaped space between the nerve fibers. Patients who presented at our institution with inner retinal cleavage were enrolled in the study. All participants were evaluated by fundus examination, visual field testing with standard automated perimetry, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging.

    Results: A total of 15 eyes of 11 subjects with inner retinal cleavage were included in the study. The median age of the subjects was 57 years (age range, 30–67 years). In each case, inner retinal cleavage was located adjacent to retinal blood vessels. Tissue bridging the cleavage area was observed in ten eyes. Six eyes had epiretinal membranes (ERMs), two eyes had glaucoma, and one eye had ERM in addition to glaucoma. Six eyes with inner retinal cleavage without combined ocular abnormalities had highly myopic refractive error (−6.50 to −8.50 diopters). Cross-sectional OCT images of the areas of inner retinal cleavage demonstrated defects with irregular margins and empty spaces in the inner layers of the retina. During the follow-up period, no eye showed changes in inner retinal layer cleavage or visual field sensitivity.

    Conclusions: Inner retinal cleavage was found in eyes with high myopia or ERMs. Inner retinal cleavage was associated with structural changes distinct from those associated with glaucomatous RNFL defects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)215-220
    Number of pages6
    JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb


    • Glaucoma
    • Inner retinal cleavage
    • Optical coherence tomography
    • Retinal nerve fiber layer

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ophthalmology
    • Sensory Systems
    • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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