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Alexandre Abid, Renaud Duval, Flavio Rezende, Christos Boutopoulos; A Smart Vitrector Equipped by a Fiber-Based OCT Sensor Mitigates Intentional Attempts at Creating Iatrogenic Retinal Breaks During Vitrectomy in Pigs. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(13):19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.13.19.
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The occurrence of iatrogenic retinal breaks (RB) in pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) is a complication that compromises the overall efficacy of the surgery. A subset of iatrogenic RB occurs when the retina (rather than the vitreous gel) is cut accidentally by the vitrector. We developed a smart vitrector that can detect in real-time potential iatrogenic RB and activate promptly a PPV machine response to prevent them.
We fabricated the smart vitrectors by attaching a miniaturized fiber-based OCT sensor on commercial vitrectors (25G). The system's response time to an iatrogenic RB onset was measured and compared to the literature reported physiologically limited response time of the average surgeon. Two surgeons validated its ability to prevent simulated iatrogenic RB by performing PPV in pigs. Note that the system is meant to control the PPV machine and requires no visual or audio signal interpretation by the surgeons.
We found that the response time of the system (28.9 ± 6.5 ms) is 11 times shorter compared to the literature reported physiologically limited reaction time of the average surgeon (P < 0.0001). Ex vivo validation (porcine eyes) showed that the system prevents 78.95% (15/19) (95% confidence interval [CI] 54.43–93.95) of intentional attempts at creating RB, whereas in vivo validation showed that the system, prevents 55.68% (30/54) (95% CI 41.40–69.08), and prevents or mitigates 70.37% (38/54) (95% CI 56.39–82.02) of such attempts. A subset of failures was classified as “early stop” (i.e., false positive), having a prevalence of 5.26% (1 /19) in ex vivo tests and 24.07% (13/54) in in vivo tests.
Our results indicate the smart vitrector can prevent iatrogenic RB by providing seamless intraoperative feedback to the PPV machine. Importantly, the use of the smart vitrector requires no modifications of the established PPV procedure. It can mitigate a significant proportion of iatrogenic RB and thus improve the overall efficacy of the surgery.
Potential clinical adoption of the smart vitrector can reduce the incidence of iatrogenic RB in PPV and thus increase the therapeutic outcome of the surgery.
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