A retinal vessel occlusion is a blockage in a major artery or vein of the retina Retina The ten-layered nervous tissue membrane of the eye. It is continuous with the optic nerve and receives images of external objects and transmits visual impulses to the brain. Its outer surface is in contact with the choroid and the inner surface with the vitreous body. The outermost layer is pigmented, whereas the inner nine layers are transparent. Eye: Anatomy. Depending on the location, the occlusion can be classified as central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO), central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), or branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). Typically, a retinal vessel occlusion is a thromboembolic event. Risk factors include hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus, and cardiac valvular disease. Central retinal vessel occlusion is characterized by sudden, unilateral, painless loss of vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam and/or transient vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam loss ( amaurosis fugax Amaurosis fugax Transient complete or partial monocular blindness due to retinal ischemia. This may be caused by emboli from the carotid artery (usually in association with carotid stenosis) and other locations that enter the central retinal artery. Carotid Artery Stenosis). Treatment options are limited in all cases and usually ineffective. When the macula Macula An oval area in the retina, 3 to 5 mm in diameter, usually located temporal to the posterior pole of the eye and slightly below the level of the optic disk. It is characterized by the presence of a yellow pigment diffusely permeating the inner layers, contains the fovea centralis in its center, and provides the best phototropic visual acuity. It is devoid of retinal blood vessels, except in its periphery, and receives nourishment from the choriocapillaris of the choroid. Eye: Anatomy is involved, prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual's condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas is especially poor, leading to permanent vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam loss.
Last updated: May 30, 2022
Exact causes are not known, although there is an association with the following conditions:
Central retinal artery occlusion
Central retinal vein occlusion
Diagnosis of both conditions is usually clinical but additional investigations may be ordered.
Complement your med school studies with Lecturio’s all-in-one study companion, delivered with evidence-based learning strategies.
Lecturio Premium gives you full access to all content & features
Verify your email now to get a free trial.
Lecturio Premium gives you full access to all contents and features—including Lecturio’s Qbank with up-to-date board-style questions.