Clinical implications of retinal oximetry in retinal vein occlusion: a review

Acta Ophthalmol. 2022 Sep;100(6):624-631. doi: 10.1111/aos.15066. Epub 2021 Nov 29.


Purpose: To review retinal vein occlusion (RVO) and its relationship with retinal oxygen saturation via automated retinal oximetry in eyes with RVO.

Methods: A literature review was performed in PubMed and Medline until October 2021 utilizing specific keywords and cross-matched reference lists.

Results: This review found RVO to be associated with risk factors including age, hypertension, cardiovascular and metabolic conditions, male gender, and glaucoma. These may be attributed to a breakdown of regulatory processes in the retina. Retinal venous oxygen saturation (SvO2 ) and arteriovenous difference in eyes with central RVO have been found to be reduced and elevated, respectively. The literature indicates variable and contradictory findings in regard to branch RVO and retinal oxygenation. Additionally, ischaemic eyes have been found to have elevated retinal arterial oxygen saturation; however, the literature reports variable results regarding SvO2 levels. Medications have been suggested to increase SvO2 in RVO eyes, which may represent an important mechanism for disease management. Ranibizumab is currently the most studied drug for retinal oxygenation in RVO and has been suggested to increase SvO2 in RVO eyes. In comparison, dexamethasone was found to decrease SvO2 .

Conclusion: The current literature on retinal oxygenation in ischaemic subtypes of RVO and in drug therapies is minimal, and further work is required to expand upon our understanding of how ischaemia and drugs influence retinal oxygenation and clinical outcomes.

Keywords: branch retinal vein occlusion; central retinal vein occlusion; drug therapy; ischaemia; retinal oximetry; retinal oxygen saturation; retinal vein occlusion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glaucoma* / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oximetry / methods
  • Ranibizumab / therapeutic use
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion* / drug therapy


  • Ranibizumab