Macular Schisis and Detachment Associated with Presumed Acquired Enlarged Optic Nerve Head Cups

David S. Zumbro, Lee M. Jampol, James C. Folk*, Mildred M.G. Olivier, Susan Anderson-Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe a clinical syndrome of macular schisis and detachment in patients with acquired optic nerve head cupping resulting from glaucoma. Design: Retrospective review of five patients. Methods: Patients were included if they had optic nerve cupping and macular schisis with or without detachment with no other identifiable cause. The patients had to have no leakage on fluorescein angiography and no vitreous traction on examination or on optic coherence tomography (OCT). These patients were followed up and visual acuity, intraocular pressure, and the findings of serial fundus and OCT examinations were noted. Results: Five patients had schisis with or without detachment of the macula with pronounced optic nerve head cupping. One patient had resolution of the macular fluid after filtering surgery for uncontrolled glaucoma. Two patients underwent a vitrectomy with intraocular gas and had almost total resolution of macular fluid and improved vision. Conclusions: Macular schisis and detachment can occur in patients with presumed enlarged optic nerve head cups in the absence of obvious congenital anomalies of the disk. The authors believe the cause is leakage of fluid from the vitreous through a tiny hole in the thin tissue of the cup. This is a similar mechanism to that seen in patients with optic pits. A vitrectomy or steps to reduce the intraocular pressure may result in resolution of the fluid and improved vision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-74.e1
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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