Optical coherence tomography of branch retinal vein occlusion

Retina. 2003 Jun;23(3):343-7. doi: 10.1097/00006982-200306000-00009.


Purpose: To evaluate the incidence of serous retinal detachment (SRD) secondary to a branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) by using optical coherence tomography (OCT).

Methods: Fourteen eyes of 14 patients with a BRVO underwent a detailed history, ophthalmoscopic examination, and fluorescein angiographic evaluation. They were also studied with OCT.

Results: The 14 patients included eight women and six men with a mean age of 73.6 +/- 10.5 years (range, 55-90 years). Four eyes were found to have cystoid macular edema by fluorescein angiography, whereas 10 cases were detected by OCT. SRD involving any portion of the macula was found in 10 (71.4%) of the 14 eyes, and SRD extending into the fovea was found in six (42.9%) eyes. Two (14.3%) of the 14 patients also showed a subfoveal hemorrhage that appeared to have gravitated inferiorly through the SRD to the dependent portion of the detachment.

Conclusions: That few patients with SRD secondary to a BRVO discovered by ophthalmoscopy have been reported in the literature would suggest that this is an uncommon complication. The authors found with OCT that SRD commonly occurs in BRVO. In addition, subretinal hemorrhage may occur in the context of BRVO, and the authors propose that blood gravitates through the subretinal fluid to settle behind the retina.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interferometry
  • Light
  • Macular Edema / diagnosis*
  • Macular Edema / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Retinal Detachment / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion / complications
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography