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Circadian incidence of non-inflammatory retinal artery occlusions

  • Retinal Disorders
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Background and Purpose

Myocardial infarction and stroke tend to occur in the morning. We were interested in discovering when the onset of visual loss occurred in patients with retinal artery occlusion (RAO). Assuming that the therapeutic time slot is about 2 to 6 hours, a cumulated incidence during the night might have therapeutic implications.


We retrospectively evaluated the data of 266 patients (175 male and 91 female patients) with non-inflammatory RAO: 211 patients with central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), 36 patients with branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO), and 19 patients with hemi-central retinal artery occlusion (hemi-CRAO).


Nocturnal visual loss occurred in 25 patients (9.4%). Ocular deterioration during the day was recorded in 173 patients (65.1%). Visual loss at waking was recorded in 59 patients (22.2%). In most patients with short-term latency (≤ 6 hours), RAO also occurred in the daytime (62%).


Visual loss due to ocular arterial occlusions can occur at any time. Visual deterioration has been recorded more often during the day than during the night.

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Correspondence to Nicolas Feltgen.

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Schmidt, D., Schumacher, M. & Feltgen, N. Circadian incidence of non-inflammatory retinal artery occlusions. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 247, 491–494 (2009).

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