Central retinal artery occlusion and disc edema in a child

Author(s): Lee WB, Pearson PA, Moreman K


Obstruction of the retinal arterial system is most commonly associated with elderly patient populations. The major etiologic factor in adults has been attributed to emboli from atherosclerotic vascular disease of the carotid arteries, with about 75% of patients over the age of 40 years demonstrating this finding. Conversely, arterial obstruction in young patients is rarely secondary to atheromatous disease and has a variety of causative factors.(1) We describe an unusual case of a previously healthy 8-year-old boy who developed a unilateral central retinal artery occlusion in conjunction with marked optic disc edema. The etiology of these pathologic lesions was attributed to a viral-like syndrome. Vision rapidly deteriorated to no light perception and remained unchanged despite treatment.

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