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Retinal artery occlusion

  • Alternative Names

    Central retinal artery occlusion; Branch retinal artery occlusion; CRAO; BRAO


    Sudden blurring or loss of vision may occur in:

    • All of one eye (central retinal artery occlusion or CRAO)
    • Part of one eye (branch retinal artery occlusion or BRAO)

    The retinal artery occlusion may last for only a few seconds or minutes, or it may be permanent.

    If the blood clot moves to another part of the brain, symptoms of a stroke may develop.

    Signs and tests

    Tests to evaluate the retina may include:

    • Examination of the retina after dilating the pupil
    • Fluorescein angiography
    • Intraocular pressure
    • Pupil reflex response
    • Refraction
    • Retinal photography
    • Slit lamp examination
    • Testing of side vision (visual field examination)
    • Visual acuity

    General tests should include:

    • Blood pressure
    • Blood tests, including cholesterol and triglyceride levels and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate
    • Physical examination

    Tests to identify the source of a clot from another part of the body:

    • Echocardiogram
    • Electrocardiogram
    • Heart monitor for abnormal heart rhythm
    • Duplex Doppler ultrasound of the carotid arteries