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Branch artery occlusion. An unusual complication of external carotid embolization.

A case of retinal branch artery occlusion was caused by migration of emboli, presumably via collateral circulation, during therapeutic embolization of the maxillary artery. Migration of particles to the ophthalmic circulation is unusual with embolization of the branches of the external carotid artery. Meticulous technique, careful angiographic monitoring, and proper selection of embolic material may reduce, but not eliminate, migration of emboli to undesirable locations. Therapeutic embolization of vascular tumors and malformations in the external carotid territory is a recent radiologic innovation that is becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, we may expect to see more ocular complications from aberrant emboli as the use of this technique becomes more widespread.

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