Central Retinal Vein Occlusion Resolving After Orbital Decompression in Thyroid Eye Disease.

Date Published:

2016 Jan 22


A 49-year-old male presented with proptosis and was found to have optic nerve edema with peripapillary hemorrhages. Diagnostic testing showed a suppressed thyroid-stimulating hormone. CT orbits showed homogenous tendon-sparing enlargement of the medial and inferior rectus muscles, characteristic of thyroid eye disease. Intravenous methylprednisolone was administered given the concern for compressive optic neuropathy. He initially had improvement of his symptoms, so orbital decompression was deferred. Subsequently he presented with worsening diplopia and right proptosis, a new afferent pupillary defect, and a cecocentral visual field defect. Dilated examination revealed significant optic nerve head edema and diffuse retinal hemorrhages in all 4 quadrants consistent with a central retinal vein occlusion. The patient underwent an urgent 3-wall orbital decompression on the right. Close follow up postoperatively showed resolution of the central retinal vein occlusion and the associated optic disc edema, peripapillary hemorrhages, and macular edema. Orbital decompression is known to improve many manifestations of thyroid eye disease, but this is the first report of orbital decompression resulting in resolution of a central retinal vein occlusion.

Last updated on 01/29/2016