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PURPOSE: Time is the key criterion in the management of non-arteritic central retinal artery occlusion (NA-CRAO). However, the precise onset of vision loss is often difficult to determine. This study aimed to evaluate the temporal changes of retinal thickness in acute NA-CRAO and the potential of this parameter to be used as a surrogate marker to estimate the onset of retinal ischaemia. METHODS: Optical coherence tomography was used to continuously assess retinal thickness and oedema progression rate in six porcine eyes. Additionally, a retrospective analysis of 12 patients with acute NA-CRAO was performed to determine association strength and progression rate between retinal thickness and onset of ischaemia. All Optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans (pigs and NA-CRAO patients) were performed within an ischaemic time frame of up to 9 hr. RESULTS: Retinal oedema progression rate in pigs was 25.32 µm/hr [CI 95%: 24.24-26.40 µm/hr]. Retrospective analysis of the patients revealed a strong correlation between retinal oedema and duration of ischaemia (Spearman's rho = 0.77, p = 0.004) with an estimated progression rate of 10.02 µm/hr [CI 95%: 3.30-16.74 µm/hr]. CONCLUSION: Retinal thickness increases with oedema formation, and ischaemia onset is strongly correlated with this structural biomarker in both, pigs and NA-CRAO patients. Prospective clinical trials will have to determine the clinical feasibility of retinal thickness measurements as a biomarker to support clinical management of NA-CRAO.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Ophthalmol

Publication Date





e680 - e684


central retinal artery occlusion, ischaemia, oedema, optical coherence tomography, retina, retinal ischaemia