Case Report: Retinal Infarction Associated with Migraine

Optom Vis Sci. 2021 Oct 1;98(10):1132-1138. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001784.


Significance: Retinal migraine and migrainous infarction are distinct clinical entities delineated by the International Headache Society. Presented is a novel case report demonstrating unique optical coherence tomography evidence of retinal ischemia experienced during a migraine with effects across retinal vascular territories. This may represent evidence of migrainous infarction within the retina.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to present clinical and quasi-histologic optical coherence tomography features of retinal ischemia associated with migraine.

Case report: Presented is a case of profound monocular vision loss coincident with a migraine episode. Optical coherence tomography with novel features of acute inner retinal thinning, increased delineation of the inner plexiform and outer plexiform layers, and increased signal intensity of the photoreceptor layer is reported. These discriminating characteristics contrast those of retinal artery occlusions and other primary ocular vasculopathies such as Susac syndrome and acute macular neuroretinopathies.

Conclusions: A case of permanent vision loss with retinal thinning and ischemic hyperreflectivity of retinal layers on optical coherence tomography in different vascular territories is shown to be associated with migraine. These features may provide clinical evidence of migrainous pathophysiology within the retina.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infarction
  • Migraine Disorders* / complications
  • Migraine Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Retina / diagnostic imaging
  • Retinal Diseases*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence