Purpose: To investigate the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the clinical presentation of acute, primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). Design: Single-center, consecutive case series with historical controls. Participants: Consecutive patients seeking treatment for primary RRD in a 50-day period during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 9–April 27, 2020) and the corresponding 50-day period during the previous year (March 4–April 22, 2019) in the United States. Methods: The cohorts were compared to assess demographic variables and clinical presentations. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors predictive of presenting macular attachment status. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with macula-on RRD at presentation. Secondary outcomes included visual acuity (VA), duration of symptoms before presentation, proportion seeking treatment within 1 day of symptom onset, and presence of primary proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). Results: Eighty-two patients were included in the 2020 cohort compared with 111 patients in the 2019 primary control cohort. Demographic factors were similar between the groups. Significantly fewer patients demonstrated macula-on RRD in the 2020 cohort (20/82 patients [24.4%]) than in the 2019 cohort (55/111 patients [49.5%]; P = 0.001). Patients in the 2020 cohort showed worse median VA at presentation (1.00 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR; Snellen equivalent, 20/200] in 2020 vs. 0.48 logMAR [Snellen equivalent, 20/60] in 2019; P = 0.008), fewer patients sought treatment within 1 day of symptoms (16/80 patients [19.5%] in 2020 vs. 41/106 patients [36.9%] in 2019; P = 0.005), and a greater proportion demonstrated primary PVR (11/82 patients [13.4%] in 2020 vs. 5/111 patients [4.5%] in 2019; P = 0.03). In multivariate analysis, younger age (P = 0.03) and established patient status (P = 0.02) were independent predictors of macula-on status in the 2020 cohort. Conclusions: Patients with primary RRD during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic were less likely to have macula-on disease and more likely to delay seeking treatment and to show worse vision and PVR.
- Retinal detachment