Posterior Vitreous Detachment

    • CE credits 2 hours
    • COPE code 74316-PS / 122539
    • Available until Sep 14, 2024



  • To review the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of posterior vitreous detachment
  • To better understand when to refer a patient with a complicated PVD
  • To know how to counsel a patient with PVD
  • To review associated vitreoretinal interface diseases


A 67-year-old female presents to your clinic with the complaint of flashing lights and new floaters over the past 3 days. She denies any headaches.

On exam, best corrected visual acuities are 20/20- OU. On examination, a vitreous opacity is evident overlying the optic nerve head of the right eye (see below).

Quick Question

What is the risk of a retinal tear or hole in the setting of an acute posterior vitreous detachment?

  • <1%
  • 5%
  • 14%

    The prevalence of a retinal break in the setting of acute PVD is 14%.

  • 30%


Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a common age-related phenomenon characterized by dehiscence of the posterior vitreous cortex from the internal limiting membrane of the retina in conjunction with vitreous liquefaction.1 It often results in symptoms of flashes and/or floaters, and can be asymptomatic. Males and females are affected equally.2

The prevalence of PVD increases with age. While rare before the age of 50, it is present in over 60% of individuals over the age of 70.3 PVD mostly occurs without significant sequelae, but can result in a variety of retinal problems including retinal breaks, retinal detachment, and others.

Access Full Case Content

Get full access to the content of this case. Purchase this case now for $29. Plus, save when you buy 3 cases.

See all cases