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Central Retinal Artery Occlusion: Can We Effectively Manage This Ocular Emergency in a Hospital Setting?

Curēus 2022 August
Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is an ophthalmological emergency characterized by partial or complete occlusion of the central retinal artery. It is the ocular equivalent of an ischemic cerebral stroke. Patients frequently present with a significant, abrupt, painless loss of vision in one eye, with only around 20% of those affected getting functional visual acuity restored in the affected eye. Despite more than 150 years of clinical research, no consensus has been achieved regarding the most effective method of treating CRAO. The efficacy of all proposed treatments is debatable, and many of them have ambiguous risk profiles that present particular diagnostic and management difficulties and cause variations in clinical practice. In certain circumstances, thrombolysis may be attempted as a treatment option. However, the evidence to support the general use of thrombolytics in treating acute CRAO remains elusive. It is known that the risk factors predisposing to other cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events are often present in CRAO. Accordingly, identifying patients at the highest risk of stroke and secondary prevention of ischemic events remains the primary focus of management. This review offers a summary of all the current treatment options available for managing CRAO, with particular reference to their limitations and inconsistent results found in relevant studies until 2022.

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