Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
Kristin Heege
Ophthalmic Medical Technology Student
University of Arkansas Medical Sciences


What is Central Retinal Artery Occlusion?

The central retinal artery branches off the ophthalmic artery which in turn branches off the internal carotid artery. The central retinal artery is vital because it supplies blood to the inner two-thirds of the retina. . If the central retinal artery becomes occluded, there will be a sudden painless loss of vision in that eye.

Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is generally due to an embolism including platelet-fibrin, cholesterol, or calcium plaque. The emboli break off vessel walls or
cardiac valves and travel downstream until the vessel becomes too small, and the emboli or plaque simply gets stuck. The entire retina, except the fovea (center of the macula), will become pale and swollen.

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