Crohn's disease and retinal vascular disease

Am J Ophthalmol. 1990 Oct 15;110(4):349-53. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)77013-8.


Patients with Crohn's disease may manifest extraintestinal findings including ocular involvement. We treated two patients with Crohn's disease who manifested retinal vascular disease that may have been related to the immune nature of the underlying disease or possibly to changes in the vasculature or coagulation system. One patient had a central retinal vein occlusion and the other had retinal vasculitis involving retinal arteries and veins with an apparent branch retinal artery occlusion. Both patients were in excellent health except for Crohn's disease, which was confirmed by a biopsy specimen. In one patient, the diagnosis of retinal vasculitis preceded the clinical diagnosis of Crohn's disease, whereas for the second patient the symptomatology of the intestinal disease preceded the ocular manifestations. We suggest that inflammatory bowel disease should be considered in the differential diagnosis of retinal vascular occlusive disease, especially in a young patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Retina / pathology
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion / etiology
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion / pathology
  • Retinal Vessels* / pathology