What is the prognosis of central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO)?

Updated: Jun 11, 2019
  • Author: Robert H Graham, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew G Lee, MD  more...
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Answer

Most patients with CRAO continue to experience severe vision loss, in the counting fingers to hand motion range. [11]

As many as 10% of patients retain central vision because of the presence of a cilioretinal artery. In this case, visual acuity improves to 20/50 or better in 80% of cases over a 2-week period.

The presence of a retinal embolus is associated with a 56% mortality rate over 9 years compared to 27% in patients without arterial emboli.

The life expectancy of patients with CRAO is 5.5 years compared to 15.4 years for an age-matched population without CRAO.


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