Retinal artery occlusion

Alternative Names

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

Definition of Retinal artery occlusion

Retinal artery occlusion is a blockage in one of the small arteries that carry blood to the retina. The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of the eye that is able to sense light.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Retinal arteries may become blocked by a or fat deposits that get stuck in the arteries. These blockages are more likely if there is hardening of the arteries () in the eye.

Symptoms

Sudden blurring or loss of vision may occur in:

Signs and tests

Tests to evaluate the retina may include:

Treatment

There is no proven treatment for vision loss that involves the whole eye, unless it is caused by another illness that can be treated.

Expectations (prognosis)

People with blockages of the retinal artery may not get their vision back.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 4/15/2010

Retina

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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