Central Retinal Vein Occlusion


There exist two types of retinal vein occlusion: the Central Retinal Vein Occlusion, CRVO, caused by the obstruction of the principal vein of the retina, and the Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion, BRVO, caused by the obstruction of a branch of the principal retinal vein.

The retinal vein occlusion can cause very serious ocular complications, among which the most common are vitreal hemorrhage, cystoid macular edema, retinal neovascularization and iris neovascularization, with consequent neovascular glaucoma.

Some individuals are subject to a higher risk for retinal vein occlusion. This can be due to a particular anatomical conformation of the blood vessels of the retina and the existence of pathologies such as diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure, age linked vascular pathologies and some blood pathologies.    

Moreover, a past BRVO event in one eye entails a greater probability (approximately 10%) that a second event of BRVO or CRVO can occur in the other eye, within five years after the initial thrombotic event.


The therapy for the retinal vein occlusion is characterized by two different phases:

  1. The treatment of the ischemic areas identified during the fluoroscein angiography through a frequency doubled laser (DDF) or “sub-threshold” laser, which better preserves the integrity of the photoreceptors during the photocoagulation process.
  2. Intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF drugs, which aim at preventing or fighting the pathologic effects of the VEGF produced in excess in the ischemic retinal areas. A few days after the intraocular administration of anti-VEGF drugs, the macula has a tendency to revert to the past anatomic and physiologic position and the initial visual capacity is restored or considerably improved. Nowadays, in order to contrast the pathologic effects of the VEGF, also slow release intravitreal implants are used, which are biodegradable polymers made up of cortisone molecules that are implanted in the vitreal cavity, where they release pharmacologically active molecules in a controlled manner for different months or even years.


If you believe that you are suffering from this pathology or you have any doubts that you wish to be clarified you can contact us.


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