Intraoperative optical coherence tomographic findings in patients undergoing subretinal gene therapy surgery

Huber M. Vasconcelos, Brandon J. Lujan, Mark E. Pennesi, Paul Yang, Andreas K. Lauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: To analyze intraoperative OCT (iOCT) findings during subretinal gene therapy. Methods: A single-center, retrospective, observational, case series study of twenty one eyes submitted to subretinal gene therapy. Intrasurgical high definition videos were included for analyzes. Cases with absence of iOCT video or unsuccessful bleb creation were excluded. Sharp needle tip (SNT) or blunted needle tip (BNT) and their interaction with neurosensory retina were evaluated. Presence of subretinal air bubbles, visible opened retinotomy, and medication reflux were also correlated and analyzed. Results: Nineteen of twenty-one eyes were included. Of the two excluded eyes, subretinal bleb creation was unsuccessful in one and technical issues prevented OCT image acquisition in the other. Immediately before subretinal injection, needle indention/penetration of the neurosensory retina with temporary indentation of the RPE/choroid was evident in 16 (84%) of the 19 eyes. Complete RPE/choroid indentation was needed with BNT use compared to SNT (p = 0.0114). An open retinotomy was identified in 14 (74%) of 19 eyes at the conclusion of bleb injection and was more commonly associated with SNT (p = 0.0108). Conclusions: iOCT provides valuable real-time feedback of cross-sectional retinal anatomy during subretinal gene therapy surgeries. The type of needle tip and its use during the gene therapy procedure seems to influence in the bleb creation and presence of visible open retinotomy. Further studies of iOCT findings during gene therapy delivery procedures are likely to help refine the surgical technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalInternational Journal of Retina and Vitreous
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Gene therapy
  • Imaging
  • Inherited retinal diseases
  • Intraoperative optical coherence tomography
  • Subretinal surgery
  • Vitrectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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