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Retinal branch artery occlusion following injection of hyaluronic acid (Restylane)


Dr Stefan Mennel, Department of Ophthalmology, Philipps-University Marburg, Robert-Koch-Straße 4, 35037 Marburg, Germany. Email:


The authors report a retinal branch artery occlusion occurring after facial injection of a dermal filler. The superior temporal artery showed occlusion due to a clearly visible long and fragmented embolus suggestive of gel and clearly distinguishable from calcific or cholesterol emboli. The authors suppose that hyaluronic acid gel was embolized in the patient. The embolized material is supposed to enter the ocular circulation through retrograde arteriolar flow after intra-arterial injection into one of the peripheral branches of the ophthalmic artery. If there is any evidence of a visual problem after facial injection of a dermal filler, prompt consultation of an ophthalmologist is recommended.