Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 307–314 | Cite as

Retinal vein occlusions: a review for the internist

  • Rossella Marcucci
  • Francesco Sofi
  • Elisa Grifoni
  • Andrea Sodi
  • Domenico Prisco
IM - Review


Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a disease that is often associated with a variety of systemic disorders including arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and systemic vasculitis. There are various types of RVO, categorized on the basis of the site of occlusion and on the type of consequent vascular damage. Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) is the most clinically relevant type of RVO. In addition to well-known classical risk factors, new thrombophilic factors have been investigated in patients with RVO. Data concerning a number of the parameters remain contradictory; yet, hyperhomocysteinemia and vitamins involved in methionine metabolism appear to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of this disease. Alterations in the fibrinolysis pathway (elevated levels of PAI-1 and Lipoprotein (a)), together with haemorheologic modifications have been recently consistently associated with the disease. Medical treatment includes identification and correction of vascular risk factors. In addition, LMWHs appear to be the best therapeutic approach even if based on a limited number of trials, conducted on a limited number of patients. No data are available on the possible role of antithrombotic strategies in the long-term prevention of recurrent RVO or vascular events.


Retinal vein occlusion Thrombophilia Risk factors Homocysteine 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© SIMI 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rossella Marcucci
    • 1
  • Francesco Sofi
    • 1
  • Elisa Grifoni
    • 1
  • Andrea Sodi
    • 2
  • Domenico Prisco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical and Surgical Critical AreaUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Eye ClinicUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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