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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Microemboli are not a prerequisite in retinal artery occlusive diseases.

PURPOSE: Retinal artery occlusion ( RAO) is caused by arterio-arterial or cardiovascular emboli in about 50% of all cases, but the role of non-embolic causes remains unclear. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We studied 27 patients with amaurosis fugax ( AFX), branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO), central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) and anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (AION). Patients underwent an evaluation of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular risk factors, measurement of haemorheological parameters, and Doppler/duplex sonography including ultrasound detection of cerebral microembolic signals and echocardiography. RESULTS: Forty-one per cent of the patients had internal carotid atherosclerosis but only one patient had microembolic signals, probably due to a cardiac thrombus. Vascular risk factors, especially hypertension, were present in 82% of the patients correlating with abnormal haemorheological parameters such as increased thrombocyte reactivity. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that altered haemorheological parameters, especially increased thrombocyte reactivity and vascular risk factors such as arterial hypertension, are non-embolic causes of vascular disease in a significant number of patients with RAO. This should guide diagnostic and therapeutic considerations concerning RAO in cases without proven embolic sources.[1]


  1. Microemboli are not a prerequisite in retinal artery occlusive diseases. Haase, C.G., Büchner, T. Eye (London, England) (1998) [Pubmed]
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