Contributors: Thomas W. Stone and Sharon Fekrat
The term exudative retinal detachment refers to specific type or retinal detachment that results from an exudate into the subretinal space as with a choroidal melanoma, metastatic carcinoma or hemangioma. The exudate separates the photoreceptors from the retinal pigment epithelium. This disruption of the normal anatomic relationship interfers with the vital cellular interactions between the retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors. It also deprives the outer retina of adequate oxygen and nutrients from the choroid because of their choroid need to diffuse a greater distance than normal. After the photoreceptors separate from the retinal pigment epithelium they rapidly degenerate and cystoid extracellular spaces appear within the retina.