Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Issue: May 2017
May 10, 2017
1 min read

Patients with retinal artery occlusion may be at increased risk for cardiovascular event

Issue: May 2017
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BALTIMORE — Retinal artery occlusion may be a risk factor for a cardiovascular event, according to a study presented here.

“It’s quite important for patients with retinal artery occlusion to have an appointment with a cardiologist, and there is a need to improve the link between ophthalmology and cardiology in this area,” Nicolas Leveziel, MD, PhD, ophthalmology department head at CHU Poitiers, said in an interview with

The study included 62 patients who presented with acute retinal artery occlusion (RAO) between August 2010 and September 2016 at the ophthalmology department at University Hospital of Poitiers, France.

Patients underwent best corrected visual acuity examination, fundus examination and fluorescein angiography.

The patients, mostly men, had a mean age of 71.5 years and a mean follow-up of 27 months.

Three types of RAO were observed: 46 patients had central retinal artery occlusion, 11 patients had branch retinal artery occlusion, and five patients had cilioretinal artery occlusion.

Twenty-one patients had a significant cardiovascular event between the initial RAO diagnosis and the end of the study. Four of the 21 died during follow-up.

The most frequent risk factors identified for RAO in this study were high blood pressure (61%) and dyslipidemia (47%).

Among the patients, 17 (27%) had a history of heart disease, eight (13%) had internal carotid artery stenosis at the time of RAO, and two (3.2%) had internal carotid artery dissection at the time of RAO, according to the presentation.

Intravenous thrombolysis treatment was performed in eight patients, with no visual improvement. – by Abigail Sutton


Palacin A, et al. Retinal artery occlusion and cardiovascular events. Presented at: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting; May 7-11, 2017; Baltimore.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.