Clinical signs and symptoms

The impaction of an embolus in the central retinal artery usually produces sudden and permanent loss of a sector of the visual field with retinal infarction corresponding to the vascular territory of the arteriole (Figure 12.2). Frequently, however, retinal emboli are asymptomatic and detected at a routine eye examination. A history of amaurosis fugax (transient monocular blindness) is the most common preceding visual symptom (Table 12.4). A history of a transient cerebral ischaemic attack is rare.

Table 12.4 Preceding vascular events in occlusion of branch and central retinal arteries

Retinal artery occlusion

Table 12.4 Preceding vascular events in occlusion of branch and central retinal arteries

Retinal artery occlusion

Branch*

Central'

Preceding event

n = 68

n = 35

Amaurosis fugax

12 (18)

4 (11)

Transient cerebral ischaemia

8 (12)

1 (3)

Stroke

2 (3)

4 (11)

Ischaemic heart disease

15 (22)

2 (6)

Claudication

5 (7)

2 (6)

Based on data in Wilson et a/.25 Numbers in parentheses are percentages. *43 male, 25 female patients; mean age 55. f23 male, 12 female patients; mean age 36.

Based on data in Wilson et a/.25 Numbers in parentheses are percentages. *43 male, 25 female patients; mean age 55. f23 male, 12 female patients; mean age 36.

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