Embolic causes of transient monocular visual loss. Appearance, source, and assessment

N. R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Emboli that cause monocular visual loss usually travel to and lodge within arteries and arterioles that supply the optic nerve, the retina, or both. Because the retinal vessels can be seen with an ophthalmoscope, emboli within them can be identified. This is important because certain types of emboli have a distinctive appearance that suggests the probable origin of the emboli and thus is crucial in determining the nature and extent of the assessment of the patient. The most common emboli that are recognized in the retinal arterial circulation are cholesterol emboli, platelet-fibrin emboli, and emboli composed of calcium. Less common varieties of retinal emboli include tumor emboli from cardiac myxoma and metastatic neoplasms, fat emboli from fractures of long bones, septic emboli, talc emboli, and miscellaneous emboli of depot drugs, silicone, or air that occur after injections in the region of the face or scalp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-380
Number of pages22
JournalOphthalmology Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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