The Retina Reference

Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion without Evident Embolus

You should look at the Normal Retina photo first for comparison.In this photo, the blocked artery is in the middle of the white patch of retina just below the center. There is no embolus seen in the artery, but one may have been present before and subsequently moved downstream after breaking up. The white retina is ischemic, or lacking in oxygen, which makes it lose transparency and turn white. In one to two months, this area will lose the white color and the only sign of this event will be thinner vessels to this quadrant. The blind spot above the center of vision, however, will not go away. This patient was only 14 years old, making the usual source of an embolus - a plaque of cholesterol material from a blood vessel wall - most unlikely. Instead, more unusual causes such as a cardiac myxoma, or the lupus anticoagulant, need to be explored.