Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 3768
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

   Table of Contents      
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 2294-2296

Surgical management of a large retinal cyst in X-linked retinoschisis with internal drainage: Report of an unusual case

Department of Vitreoretinal Services, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission09-Dec-2019
Date of Acceptance17-May-2020
Date of Web Publication23-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Parveen Sen
Sankara Nethralaya, No. 41, Old 18, College Rd, Thousand Lights West, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2336_19

Rights and Permissions

Although X-linked retinoschisis is a common retinal degeneration condition, the presence of a large retinal cyst obscuring the visual axis in an infant is a rare presentation. Herein, we describe such a case of a child who presented to us with the diagnosis of retinal detachment in both the eyes. However, following multimodal imaging and electrophysiology, the child was found to have bilateral juvenile retinoschisis with a large retinoschisis cyst involving the visual axis seen intraoperatively in the left eye. A limbal approach followed by lensectomy was used to excise the inner retinal layer of the cyst. The intracystic fluid was then drained and the stretched retinal vessels were endocauterized and severed without causing any iatrogenic outer retinal breaks and retinal detachment. The correct diagnosis and meticulous preoperative planning of the surgical procedure helped us manage this challenging case with a favorable anatomical and functional outcome.

Keywords: Fovealschisis, Retinal cyst, Retinoschisis, X-linked juvenile retinoschisis

How to cite this article:
Sen P, Mishra S. Surgical management of a large retinal cyst in X-linked retinoschisis with internal drainage: Report of an unusual case. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:2294-6

How to cite this URL:
Sen P, Mishra S. Surgical management of a large retinal cyst in X-linked retinoschisis with internal drainage: Report of an unusual case. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Dec 1];68:2294-6. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2020/68/10/2294/295721

X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is a retinal dystrophy caused by the mutation in the RS1 gene and results in schisis or splitting of the inner layers of the retina.[1] This is in contrast to retinal detachment in which the separation is between the neurosensory retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). This entity has been described in the literature as early as the nineteenth century and with various names, such as “congenital vascular veils,” “Juvenile retinoschisis” or “X-linked retinoschisis.”

  Case Report Top

A one-year old boy diagnosed elsewhere as bilateral retinal detachment (RD) secondary to retinopathy of prematurity presented to us with the parents giving a history of squinting in the left eye for the past 5 months. The child was born at 37 weeks of gestation with a birth weight of about 2.5 kilograms. There was no associated history of being in an incubator or postnatal oxygenation or phototherapy. The developmental milestones were normal. The child was able to follow and fixate objects with the right eye but did not follow light with poor fixation in the left eye. Upon examination, the anterior segment of the right eye was found normal with the left eye showing retrolental membrane and a left exotropia. The child was not cooperative for a detailed examination, though the fundus examination of the right eye did raise a suspicion of an inferior retinal elevation [Figure 1]a. In the left eye, no retinal details were visible other than the presence of a vascular membrane lying behind the clear lens [Figure 2]c. Ultrasonography also suggested the presence of a moderately reflective membrane in the right eye [Figure 1]b, along with moderately reflective superior and inferior membrane bands in the left eye [Figure 1]c.
Figure 1: (a) Color fundus photograph (Retcam Image) of the right eye taken under general anaesthesia showing large inferior schisis. (b) Ultrasonography of the right eye showing moderately reflective membrane echo attached at the optic nerve head. (c) Ultrasonography of the left eye showing moderately reflective tractional bands passing antero-posteriorly. (d) Hand held optical coherence tomography (Bioptigen, Lieca microsystems) of the right eye (done under general anaesthesia) showing the schitic retina with the horizontal line scan (Green) passing through the optic nerve head

Click here to view
Figure 2: (a) Dark adapted (Scotopic) electroretinogram (ERG) showed a reduction of b-wave amplitude as compared to the a-wave. (b) Subnormal Light adapted (Photopic) ERG. (c) Anterior segment of the left eye at presentation showing the retina behind the clear lens (Photograph taken intraoperatively). (d) Color fundus photograph (Retcam) of the left eye postoperatively with attached outer retina and complete collapse of the large schitic cyst. (e) Ultrasonography of the left eye postoperatively with attached retina

Click here to view

The child was examined under general anesthesia. Fundus examination of the right eye (Retcam) now revealed distinct fovealschisis with inferior peripheral retinal schisis [Figure 1]a. The dark-adapted electroretinogram (ERG) [Handheld ERG Roland Consult Electrophysiology and Imaging (Germany)] showed reduced b-wave amplitude when compared to that of the a-wave; the photopic responses were slightly subnormal [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b. Left eye ERG was nonrecordable. Handheld optical coherence tomography (Bioptigen, Lieca microsystems) of the right eye revealed the presence of typical foveal retinoschisis [Figure 1]d. Now, with the diagnosis of XLRS in mind, the left eye was suspected to have a large retinal cyst secondary to a retinal split; a presentation rarely seen in severe cases of XLRS in the very young. The child was taken up for lensectomy with cyst excision.

A 25G trocar-cannula system was used for making the ports. Since the retinal cyst was retrolental, lensectomy was necessary to approach the cyst. In addition, because the inner retinal layer of the cyst was pulled up right behind the lens, the entry of 25G instruments were made directly through the limbus to avoid subretinal entry [[Figure 2]c and Video 1]. Infusion was maintained using an anterior chamber maintainer. After lensectomy, retinotomy through the inner retinal layers was performed. Large amounts of altered liquefied blood, indicative of an old standing hemorrhage was drained. After drainage of blood, long slender stretched retinal blood vessels were observed traversing from the inner to the outer retinal layers, which were endocauterized before trimming [Figure 3]a, [Figure 3]b, [Figure 3]c, [Figure 3]d and [Video 2]. A careful inspection confirmed that there were no outer retinal layer breaks. Therefore, endotamponade was not needed. The limbal ports were sutured by 10-0 VICRYL suture.
Figure 3: (a) Intraoperative image of the left eye showing the retinotomy (Red arrow) and subsequent drainage of the intraretinal fluid. (b) Transillumination with the help of the endoilluminator shows the retinal vessels traversing across (White arrows). (c) Intraoperative image of the left eye showing endocautery being done to the active bleeders. (d) The optic nerve head (Yellow arrow) could be seen towards the conclusion of the surgery

Click here to view

The child was reviewed after 1 month and 5 months postsurgery with a stable retina in the right eye and an attached outer retina in the left eye [Figure 2]d and [Figure 2]e with a cycloplegic refraction of (+0.75 spherical/−1.75 cylindrical 180° in the right eye and +15.50 spherical in the left eye). The child was able to follow and fixate objects with the left eye and was advised for patching for further improvement.

  Discussion Top

XLRS is an X-linked inherited retinal degenerative condition, which is characterized by the splitting of the inner retinal layers. The prevalence ranges between 1:5000 and 1:20,000.[2] Prenner et al. classified XLRS into four types based on clinical and OCT findings.[3] Type 1 had clinically evident fovealschisis, type 2 had macular lamellar schisis, type 3 had additional peripheral schisis, and type 4 is a combination of types 1 and 3. Although the presence of a negative waveform in ERG is a typical feature of XLRS, advanced cases with large areas of retinal split may have nonrecordable waveforms.[4] Retinal complications due to XLRS have been documented in the very first year of life and, therefore, timely management becomes crucial.[5] Nearly half of all the cases show an inferotemporal peripheral schisis with vitreous hemorrhages and/or retinal detachments due to unsupported retinal vessels in about 5% as was seen in our case as well.[6]

Bullous retinoschisis cavity overhanging the macula is seen in about 8–16% of patients who have congenital XLRS and are below 10 years of age.[7] Wood et al. found long-term stability in 83% of eyes with conversion or progression to a more severe phenotype in the remaining cases.[8] Rhegmatogenous or combined tractional-rhegmatogenous detachments and vitreous hemorrhage are few complications that require prompt surgical management.

Though uncommon, there are many instances in the literature where faulty diagnoses of rare retinal pathologies have led to disastrous management. Zimmerman and Spencer reported a couple of cases where enucleation was performed on the basis of suspected malignant melanoma of choroid, which were diagnosed to be retinoschisis later.[9] Ruiz reported enucleation of a blind eye with long standing retinal detachment which was diagnosed clinically as malignant melanoma, later found to be a macrocyst of the retina with organized hemorrhage.[10] This case report aims to highlight the unusual presentation of retinoschisis as a large retinal cyst which could very well be misdiagnosed as a retinal detachment. A detailed examination under anesthesia with well-planned investigations allowed us to make an accurate diagnosis and a simple surgical plan aimed at draining the cyst led to a successful anatomic and visual outcome.

These large cysts as seen in the very young can be amblyogenic. The drainage of these cysts has been described to collapse the schitic cavity and clear the visual axis, thus preventing amblyopia in children.[11] Gopal et al. have described successful collapse with argon laser photocoagulation.[12] External drainage of the retinoschitic cysts with indirect visualization has also been described.[11] However, this was not possible in our case because the retina was seen just behind the lens with no view of other details because of the intracystic hemorrhage. A more invasive pars plana vitrectomy with entry of instrumentation through pars plana or pars plicata would have led to subretinal infusion of fluid or outer retinal break formation and would have been disastrous.

  Conclusion Top

A high degree of clinical suspicion combined with careful fundus examination, a judicious use of multimodal imaging and electrophysiology under general anesthesia followed by a well-planned surgical procedure helped us achieve a favorable anatomical and functional outcome in an infant with a large retinal cyst with X-linked retinoschisis.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Strupaitė R, Ambrozaitytė L, Cimbalistienė L, Ašoklis R, Utkus A. X-linked juvenile retinoschisis: Phenotypic and genetic characterization. Int J Ophthalmol 2018;11:1875-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
George ND, Yates JR, Moore AT. X linked retinoschisis. Br J Ophthalmol 1995;79:697-702.  Back to cited text no. 2
Prenner JL, Capone A Jr, Ciaccia S, Takada Y, Sieving PA, Trese MT. Congenital X-linked retinoschisis classification system. Retina 2006;26(7 Suppl):S61-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sudha D, Neriyanuri S, Sachidanandam R, Natarajan SN, Gandra M, Tharigopala A, et al. Understanding variable disease severity in X-linked retinoschisis: Does RS1 secretory mechanism determine disease severity? PloS One 2018;13:e0198086.  Back to cited text no. 4
Savoie BT, Ferrone PJ. Complicated congenital retinoschisis. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2017;11(Suppl 1):S202-10.  Back to cited text no. 5
Molday RS, Kellner U, Weber BH. X-linked juvenile retinoschisis: Clinical diagnosis, genetic analysis, and molecular mechanisms. Prog Retin Eye Res 2012;31:195-212.  Back to cited text no. 6
Ferrone PJ, Trese MT, Lewis H. Vitreoretinal surgery for complications of congenital retinoschisis. Am J Ophthalmol 1997;123:742-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
Wood EH, Lertjirachai I, Ghiam BK, Koulisis N, Moysidis SN, Dirani A, et al. The natural history of congenital x-linked retinoschisis and conversion between phenotypes over time. Ophthalmol Retina 2019;3:77-82.  Back to cited text no. 8
Zimmerman LE, Spenser WH. The pathologic anatomy of retinoschisis with a report of two cases diagnosed clinically as malignant melanoma. Arch Ophthalmol 1960;63:10-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
Ruiz RS. Hemorrhagicmacrocyst of the retina. Arch Ophthalmol 1970;83:588-90.  Back to cited text no. 10
Rishi E, Gopal L, Rishi P, Deshmukh H. Congenital X-linked retinoschisis: A novel approach for management of a large schitic cavity overhanging the macula. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2009;3:105-7.  Back to cited text no. 11
Gopal L, Shanmugam MP, Battu RR, Shetty NS. Congenital retinoschisis: Successful collapse with photocoagulation. Indian J Ophthalmol 2001;49:265-6.  Back to cited text no. 12
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded38    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal