Vitritis, vitreous, Vitrectomy

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Mike Bartolatz
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Vitritis, vitreous, Vitrectomy

Post by Mike Bartolatz » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:01 am

The medical terms below are from the Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Foudation and are provided with their permission from the Glossary of Medical terms at http://www.uveitis.org
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VITRITIS (VIT-ree-itis)

Vitritis is the medical term used to denote the accumulation of inflammatory cells or exudates in the vitreous humor, the fluid that fills the middle chamber of the eye, the vitreous chamber. If the pars plana or choroid or optic nerve or retina or retinal vasculature develop inflammation, white blood cells and other by-products of that inflammation, ("inflammatory cells or exudates"), are spilled into the vitreous chamber where the patient can observe "dots" or "floaters", "streaks" or other "stuff" in their visual field. Thus "vitritis" is actually a symptom of disease occurring in some adjacent structure of the eye. The cells can be counted and form the basis for rating the degree of inflammation in structures in the intermediate part of the eye.

See, also, CELLS, FLOATERS, INTERMEDIATE UVEITIS, and PARS PLANITIS.

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VITREOUS (VIT-ree-us)

The vitreous is the transparent, colorless, gelatinous mass that fills the space between the lens of the eye and the retina lining the back of the eye. The vitreous is transparent. It contains very few cells, no blood vessels, and 99% of its volume is water. The vitreous is in contact with the retina and helps to keep it in place. The vitreous does not adhere to the retina, except in three places: all around the anterior border of the retina; in the macula, the tiny spot in the retina which gives us our "detail" and central vision; and at the optic nerve disc (where the retina sends one million nerve fibers to the brain).

Unlike the fluid in the front of the eye (aqueous fluid) which is continuously replenished, the gel in the vitreous chamber is stagnant. Therefore, if cells or other byproducts of inflammation get into the vitreous, they will remain there unless removed surgically (see floaters). If the vitreous pulls away from the retina, it is known as a vitreous detachment. As we age, the vitreous often liquefies and may collapse. This is more likely to occur, and occurs much earlier, in eyes that are nearsighted (myopia). It can also occurs after injuries to the eye or inflammation in the eye (uveitis).

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VITRECTOMY

Vitrectomy is the surgical removal of the vitreous (transparent gel that fills the eye from the iris to the retina). Vitrectomy is a microsurgical procedure in which specialized instruments and techniques are used to repair retinal disorders and to treat intermediate uveitis. This is a major surgical procedure of the eye.
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