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Retinal vascular occlusions: an interdisciplinary challenge.

INTRODUCTION: Retinal venous and arterial occlusions are common causes of visual loss. Depending on the location and extent, symptoms may vary from very discrete impairments to complete loss of sight.

METHODS: Selective literature review including the authors' own research data with a particular focus on interdisciplinary aspects.

RESULTS: Retinal vascular occlusions are not a uniform entity. Rather, they reflect the whole breadth of vascular disease. In arterial occlusion, embolic phenomena and Horton's arteritis should be excluded, in addition to local ophthalmological investigations. In retinal venous occlusion, optimal treatment of arterial hypertension is universally useful, while investigations for thrombophilia are useful in patients under 50 years of age. The results of intravitreal injection of corticosteroids and vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors appear encouraging in treatment of macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion.

DISCUSSION: While local diagnostic and therapeutic measures are performed by ophthalmologists, there is an important role for interdisciplinary cooperation in the investigation and systemic treatment of these events.

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