Retinal venous occlusive disease


What is a retinal vein occlusion?

It is the result of a sudden decline in blood flow inside the venous system of the retina, which has an impact upon the retinal circulation. Stagnation of blood flow results in retinal hypoxia. The hypo oxygenation of the retina is responsible for more or less severe visual disturbances. Occlusion of the central retinal vein has more serious consequences than branch retinal vein occlusion, which concerns a smaller portion of the retina.

Fundus photograph showing an occlusion of the central retinal vein. dilated and tortuous vessels and haemorrhages scattered all over the retina

Among the predisposing factors, vascular risk factors (such as hypertension) are the most frequent. Increased blood level of certain lipids, diabetes mellitus, smoking, but also raised intra ocular pressure (glaucoma) are also common underlying causes. Finally, sleep apnoea syndrome can be associated with retinal vein occlusion.

Diagnosis of retinal vein occlusion

If retinal vein occlusion is suspected upon fundus examination, it is very useful to confirm the diagnosis by fluorescein angiography , which perfectly highlights the blood circulation in the retinal vessels and analyses. The optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides useful information to evaluate the macular oedema, which is a very common complication of venous occlusion.

The prognosis of central vein occlusion of the retina is very variable.

The prognosis is highly variable.

There is the possibility of complete or almost complete recovery in about 20% of cases or, conversely, a risk of major decline in vision.

What is the initial treatment?

Several treatment modalities can be offered. To treat the risk factors is essential to reduce the probability of relapse and damage to the fellow eye (about 10 to 15% of cases).

Anti-edematous treatments administered by intra-vitreous injection are now often prescribed to treat macular edema and can improve vision in the majority of cases; injection therapy should be started quickly in severe cases.

Laser treatment is indicated in some cases, mainly to avoid complications of ischemic forms or for the treatment of recurrent edema.

You can make an appointment with one of the Ophthalmologists of the department who provide specific care dedicated to this pathology:

Dr Agnès Glacet-BernardAssociated Professor at the College of Medicine of the Hospitals of Paris

Department: Doctor
Specialty: Cataract surgery, General Ophthalmology, Retinal venous occlusive disease, Vitreoretinal surgery

Dr Francesca AmorosoFellow

Department: Clinical Research, Doctor
Specialty: Cataract surgery, Diabetic retinopathy, General Ophthalmology, Myopic maculopathy, Retinal Lasers, Retinal venous occlusive disease
Specialty: AMD, Angioid streaks, Cataract surgery, Diabetic retinopathy, General Ophthalmology, Hereditary macular dystrophies, Ophthalmic Echography, Retinal venous occlusive disease, Vitreoretinal surgery

Dr Jean-Louis BacquetUniversity Fellow

Department: Doctor
Specialty: AMD, Cataract surgery, Diabetic retinopathy, General Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Hereditary macular dystrophies, Neuro-ophthalmology, Retinal venous occlusive disease, Uveitis, Vitreoretinal surgery
Department: Doctor
Specialty: AMD, Diabetic retinopathy, Retinal venous occlusive disease, Retinopathy of prematurity
Department: Doctor
Specialty: AMD, Cataract surgery, Diabetic retinopathy, Glaucoma, Retinal venous occlusive disease

Dr Ala El AmeenFellow

Department: Doctor
Specialty: AMD, Cataract surgery, Diabetic retinopathy, Glaucoma, Neuro-ophthalmology, Retinal venous occlusive disease, Uveitis

Dr Alexandra MiereFellow

Department: Doctor
Specialty: AMD, Diabetic retinopathy, Myopic maculopathy, Retinal Lasers, Retinal venous occlusive disease

Dr Alexandra Mouallem-BeziereUniversity Fellow

Specialty: AMD, Angioid streaks, Cataract surgery, Diabetic retinopathy, General Ophthalmology, Hereditary macular dystrophies, Retinal venous occlusive disease, Vitreoretinal surgery

Dr Sergio PiscitelloFellow

Department: Doctor
Specialty: AMD, Angioid streaks, Cataract surgery, Diabetic retinopathy, General Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Myopic maculopathy, Retinal venous occlusive disease

Dr Daniel SeknaziFellow

Department: Doctor
Specialty: AMD, Cataract surgery, Children, Diabetic retinopathy, Myopic maculopathy, Retinal venous occlusive disease, Retinopathy of prematurity, Uveitis, Vitreoretinal surgery

"Sociétés d’Ophtalmologie de France" annual report on Retinal Venous Occlusive Desease, coordinated by Dr Agnès Glacet-Bernard in 2011, is available for download.

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