Published in Retina

Retinal Artery and Vein Occlusions: Downloadable Study Guide

This is editorially independent content
3 min read

Download this gorgeous guide for need-to-know info on CRVO, BRVO, CRAO, BRAO, emboli, and more!

Retinal Artery and Vein Occlusions: Downloadable Study Guide
When you’re studying for a big exam—whether that’s a final or the NBEO—sometimes you just want to step away from the dry presentation of disease found in your textbook and take a more creative, visual approach. That’s why we’ve partnered with optometry student Tyler Mathenia to give you this downloadable clinical study guide on retinal artery and vein occlusions!
CRVO, BRVO, CRAO, and BRAO are some of the more difficult retinal vascular diseases to remember. (Don’t worry—we’ve also created resources for diabetic retinopathy and ocular ischemic syndrome!) This study guide is chock-full of clinical notes, as well as disease illustrations—plus plenty of space for you to take your own notes while you study! Download the guide for quick reference, or for your own #studyspo.

Download the study guide

It's time to get on the study grind

Here’s what’s included:

This handy guide reviews need-to-know information about Retinal Artery and Vein Occlusions:
  • Signs and symptoms of CRVO, BRVO, CRAO, and BRAO
  • Etiology of CRAO and BRAO
  • Work-up checklist (dilated fundus examination, OCT, blood pressure, and more)
  • Management and follow-up for each
Not to mention gorgeous disease illustrations and handy tips!

What are retinal artery and vein occlusions?

Retinal Artery Occlusions are caused by an embolism, or traveling clot, and result in an ischemic retina. Retinal Vein Occlusions are caused by a thrombus, or a clot that stays where it was formed, and can result in an ischemic or non-ischemic retina.
There are two types of occlusion: Central and Branch. The most common retinal vascular occlusive disease is Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO).
Read on for the common signs of each kind of retinal artery and vein occlusion, or just download the study guide!

Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO)

  • Retinal hemorrhages in all four quadrants of the retina due to thrombus
  • Dilated tortuous retinal vessels
  • Glaucoma is the most common ocular condition associated with CRVO
  • CWS, disc edema & hemorrhages, macular edema, NVD, NVI, NVA & NVE

Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO)

  • Retinal hemorrhages in one quadrant of the retina due to thrombus
  • Compression of a vein at an artery/vein crossing point superior temporal quadrant most common
  • CWS, retinal edema, dilated & tortuous retinal veins, narrowing of adjacent arteries, retinal neovascularization

Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO)

  • Superficial whitening of the retina in the posterior pole involving in all quadrants of the retina
  • No associated neovascularization
  • +RAPD, optic nerve pallor, artery attenuation
  • “Cherry Red Spot” orange reface from the choroid that stands out from the pale retina

Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion (BRAO)

  • Superficial whitening along the distribution of a branch retinal artery, located in one quadrant of the retina
  • No associated neovascularization

Different kinds of emboli

There are Hollenhorst plaques, platelet/fibrin plaques, and calcific plaques—each of which will show up differently in a dilated fundus examination!

Download the study guides and get to work! 💪

Tyler Mathenia is a third-year optometry student at Chicago College of Optometry. Find him on Instagram at @futureoptometrist, and check out his shop on Etsy for cool optometry stickers and study guides!

Tyler Mathenia
About Tyler Mathenia

I’m Tyler Mathenia, an Optometry Student from Midwestern University, Chicago College of Optometry Class of 2021. I love all things that have to do with anterior segment disease, contact lenses and over the top optometry office spaces. I’m always trying new and creative things and I’m always on the lookout for out of the box opportunities. My two favorite words are “grit” and “adventure” and my friends would describe me as empathetic and passionate. I’m married to my college sweetheart, Megan. We love Lou Malnati’s pizza, red wine at dinner and any patio spot where we can bring our French Bulldog, Louie.

Tyler Mathenia
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