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April 1990

Retinal Artery Embolism Following Cardiac Catheterization

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles, Calif

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(4):477. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070060023007

To the Editor.  —In the March 1989 issue of the Archives, Pe'er et al1 reported various fundus findings secondary to retinal emboli 1 day following cardiac valve surgery in 10 of 81 patients. They did not mention the number of eyes involved. Even then, this alarmingly high number (12%) suggests the need for more extensive preoperative and postoperative ocular workup to prevent and treat these complications that will go undetected otherwise. This study reveals the fact that retinal emboli following cardiac surgery are underdiagnosed, underreported, or both.Although since the late 1970s only one report2 addressing the subject of perioperative retinal emboli after open heart surgery has been published, cases of retinal emboli following cardiac catheterization3 and therapeutic external carotid embolization4 have been reported in the 1980s. My colleague and I reported a case of central retinal artery embolization by cardiac catheter fragment.3 Our patient,

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