Unilateral Purtscher-like retinopathy after weight-lifting

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2003 May;13(4):395-7. doi: 10.1177/112067210301300412.


Purpose: To report a case of Purtscher-like retinopathy after weightlifting.

Methods: A 17-year-old man presented with a sudden visual loss in his left eye after weightlifting two weeks ago. Fundus examination of the left eye showed cotton-wool spots and scattered retinal hemorrhages in the posterior pole. Fluorescein angiography and indocyanine green angiography with a scanning laser ophthalmoscope were performed.

Results: Angiography showed hypofluorescent areas adjacent to the optic disc and in the posterior pole and partial filling insufficiency in the inferior and inferotemporal branch retinal veins. Complete venous filling was noted in late phases of angiography.

Conclusions: The pathogenesis of weightlifting suggests the Purtscher-like changes as a result of Valsalva maneuver in our case. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of Purtscher-like retinopathy associated with weightlifting.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Angiography
  • Coloring Agents
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Male
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Visual Acuity
  • Weight Lifting*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green