The clinical features and associations of retinal emboli

Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1992 Feb;20(1):11-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.1992.tb00697.x.


A series of 207 patients with retinal emboli is presented with the ocular findings and systemic associations examined. Emboli were most frequently single, unilateral, crystalline and involved the left eye. Emboli were most frequently observed at the major retinal vascular temporal arcades and posterior pole arterioles, with 40% seen at a bifurcation and 10% at an arteriovenous crossing. Non-crystalline emboli were more likely to be associated with retinal pathology, such as retinal artery or vein occlusion. Carotid ultrasound was performed in 74 patients: 18% of asymptomatic subjects had internal or common carotid stenosis greater than 75%; 21% of symptomatic patients had stenosis greater than 75%. In 70%, the stenosis was worse on the side of the embolus. In symptomatic patients, significant stenosis is more likely to be unilateral.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carotid Stenosis / complications
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Embolism / complications*
  • Embolism / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retinal Artery Occlusion / complications*
  • Retinal Artery Occlusion / diagnosis
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion / complications*
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion / diagnosis
  • Ultrasonography