Branch retinal artery occlusion: A complication of iron-deficiency anemia in a young adult with a rectal carcinoid

Eiko Imai, Hiroshi Kunikata, Tetsuo Udono, Yoichi Nakagawa, Toshiaki Abe, Makoto Tamai

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16 Citations (Scopus)


We report a case of branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO) in a patient with iron-deficiency anemia. Various ophthalmological and laboratory studies were performed. A 32-year-old man had a sudden decrease of vision in his left eye to counting fingers at 30 cm two days ago. The left fundus showed a cherry-red spot and milky-white edema, except for the upper temporal region of the macula, and an optic disc malformation. Fluorescein angiography revealed leakage from the disc and a slightly delayed filling time in the left eye but an arterial filling defect was not noted. The differential diagnosis in this young patient includes polycythemia, hypercoagulopathy, coagulation abnormalities, trauma, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus. Laboratory examinations revealed no abnormalities except for iron-deficiency anemia. The patient was treated with stellate ganglion block, hyperbaric oxygen, and ferrous sulfate. His visual acuity never recovered to better than 0.08. He had a coincidental rectal carcinoid and the tumor was excised surgically. No metastasis was observed. BRAO can be a complication of anemic retinopathy and can lead to severe visual loss without early medication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-144
Number of pages4
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun


  • Branch retinal artery occlusion
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Rectal carcinoid


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