Initial clinical experience with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) assisted removal of submacular haemorrhage

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Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) (250 μ/ml) was used to facilitate removal of submacular thrombus in 15 patients. Following a three-port vitrectomy and subretinal tPA injection (0.1 ml) via a 30 gauge needle, blood was evacuated after enzymatic dissolution for 20 minutes. Two injections were required in some cases. Nine women and six men were treated (mean age 75.5 ± 8.6 years). Duration of symptoms ranged from 2 days to 8 weeks. One case was due to a retinal macroaneurysm, the others to age-related macular degeneration. Vision improved in 13 patients and remained the same or deteriorated in 2 (mean follow-up 11, ± 4.9 months). Well-defined subretinal neovascular membranes were identified in 2 patients and occult neovascularisation suspected in 2 others. A cataract developed in 1 case and retinal detachments in 2 others; all were treated successfully. The poor visual prognosis associated with submacular haemorrhage may be obviated by the use of the technique we describe.


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Correspondence to Anthony P Moriarty.

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