Clinical characteristics and outcome of current standard management of central retinal artery occlusion


Dr Celia Chen, Department of Ophthalmology, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, Flinders Drive, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia. Email:


Background:  To investigate the visual outcomes in acute central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) with current standard therapy at two university teaching hospitals.

Methods:  Retrospective analysis of two cohorts of CRAO patients from John Hopkins Hospital (JHH; USA), and Flinders Medical Centre (FMC; Australia), treated with current standard therapy. The outcome measures were visual acuity, and subsequent ocular and systemic ischaemic events.

Results:  The mean follow-up period was 11.2 ± 13.1 months in the JHH cohort and 35.4 ± 34.9 months in the FMC cohort. The frequency distribution of vascular risk factors and the incidence of subsequent ischaemic events were similar for the patients from both institutions. All patients from JHH were treated as inpatients, whereas 79% of patients from FMC were treated as outpatients. More patients in the JHH cohort underwent paracentesis, ocular massage or were treated with intraocular hypotensive agents (76%) than in the FMC cohort (26%); however, there was no significant difference in visual outcome between the two cohorts (P = 0.114).

Conclusion:  Despite differences in management of CRAO between two institutions in different countries, visual outcomes were similar. This suggests a lack of efficacy of current standard treatment in acute CRAO.