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Differentiation of ischemic from non-ischemic central retinal vein occlusion during the early acute phase.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


We investigated prospectively in 128 patients (140 eyes) the role of six routine clinical tests in the differentiation of ischemic central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) from non-ischemic CRVO during its early acute phase. There were four functional tests [visual acuity, visual fields, relative afferent pupillary defect (RAPD), electroretinography (ERG)] and two morphologic tests (ophthalmoscopy and fluorescein fundus angiography). We found that none of the six tests had 100% sensitivity and specificity in such a differentiation during the early, acute phase, so that no one test can be considered a "gold standard"; however, combined information from all six is almost always reliable. Overall, the four functional tests proved far superior to the two morphologic tests in differentiating ischemic from non-ischemic CRVO:RAPD was most reliable in uniocular CRVO (with a normal fellow eye), followed closely by ERG in all cases; combined information from RAPD and ERG differentiated 97% of cases; perimetry was the next most reliable, followed by visual acuity. The two morphologic tests performed worst; fluorescein angiography provided either no information at all on retinal capillary nonperfusion (in at least one-third of the eyes during the early, acute phase) because of multiple limitations, or sometimes provided misleading information. Ophthalmoscopic appearance is the least reliable, most misleading parameter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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