Central retinal artery

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Central retinal artery

The central retinal artery is a critical blood vessel that supplies oxygenated blood to the retina of the eye. It is a branch of the ophthalmic artery, which itself is a branch of the internal carotid artery. The central retinal artery plays a vital role in maintaining the health and function of the retina, which is essential for vision.

Anatomy[edit | edit source]

The central retinal artery originates from the ophthalmic artery and enters the eye through the optic nerve. It travels within the optic nerve and reaches the retina, where it branches out to form the retinal arterioles. These arterioles further divide into capillaries that supply the inner layers of the retina.

Function[edit | edit source]

The primary function of the central retinal artery is to provide the retina with the necessary oxygen and nutrients required for its metabolic activities. The retina is a highly active tissue with a significant demand for oxygen, making the central retinal artery crucial for its function.

Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

The central retinal artery can be involved in various medical conditions, most notably central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO). CRAO is an ophthalmic emergency that results from the blockage of the central retinal artery, leading to sudden, painless loss of vision in the affected eye. This condition requires immediate medical attention to prevent permanent vision loss.

Other conditions that can affect the central retinal artery include retinal artery embolism, retinal artery thrombosis, and retinal artery aneurysm. These conditions can compromise the blood flow to the retina and result in visual disturbances or loss.

Diagnosis and Treatment[edit | edit source]

Diagnosis of central retinal artery-related conditions typically involves a comprehensive eye examination, including fundoscopy, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Treatment options vary depending on the specific condition but may include medications to dissolve clots, surgical interventions, or laser therapy.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD