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Management of severe persistent fetal vasculature: case series and review of the literature

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Persistent fetal vasculature (PFV) is a unique ocular disorder usually presenting early in life. The unregressed embryonal hyaloid vasculature poses a risk of severe ocular complications leading to decreased visual acuity. Surgery is the mainstay of therapy in complicated cases. We describe the clinical presentation and surgical treatment of PFV managed at our center from 2012 to 2015.


The study is a case series comprised eight patients who were diagnosed with complicated severe PFV. All were managed with a tailored surgical approach. The clinical characteristics, medical and surgical treatment, and follow-up findings of each case are described.


There were six males and two females. Surgical intervention involved anterior or posterior vitrectomy, lens extraction, and intraocular lens implantation. Hyaloid stalk removal with release of ciliary traction was variably utilized in selected cases. Endodiathermy controlled intraocular bleeding, and intraocular scissors proved helpful in anterior PFV for disinserting the ciliary process from an abnormally thickened posterior lens capsule. Visual outcomes differed in each case, depending on multiple clinical factors.


Severe complex PFV presents a therapeutic challenge. A tailored surgical approach with meticulous postoperative management is essential for visual rehabilitation.

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Correspondence to Yonina Ron.

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All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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The need for informed consent was waved by the IRB committee, (retrospective study).

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Zahavi, A., Weinberger, D., Snir, M. et al. Management of severe persistent fetal vasculature: case series and review of the literature. Int Ophthalmol 39, 579–587 (2019).

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