WE ARE INDEBTED to McAllister and Constable1 for introducing new hope for the management of retinal vein occlusion, as reported in this issue of the Archives. As a very common retinal vascular disorder, probably second only to diabetic retinopathy, and as a disorder that frequently does not seem to respond to therapy, the vision loss of vein occlusion frustrates both the patient and the ophthalmologist. All patients with vein occlusion must live in fear of the 10% chance that vein occlusion will occur in the fellow eye as well.
Therapies at present are limited. For branch vein occlusion, the Collaborative Branch Vein Occlusion Study showed that laser grid photocoagulation brought some small benefit by improving visual acuity that was reduced because of perfused macular edema.2 For neovascularization secondary to ischemic branch vein occlusion, scatter photocoagulation in the affected quadrant reduces but does not eliminate vitreous hemorrhage.3 For
Finkelstein D, Clarkson JG. Retinal Vessel BypassA Promising New Clinical Investigative Procedure. Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(4):421-422. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100040035023