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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 197675, 13 pages
Review Article

Ischemic Retinal Vasculitis and Its Management

1Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London EC1V 2PD, UK
2UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 9EL, UK

Received 21 November 2013; Revised 21 February 2014; Accepted 25 March 2014; Published 15 April 2014

Academic Editor: Manfred Ziehrut

Copyright © 2014 Lazha Talat et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ischemic retinal vasculitis is an inflammation of retinal blood vessels associated with vascular occlusion and subsequent retinal hypoperfusion. It can cause visual loss secondary to macular ischemia, macular edema, and neovascularization leading to vitreous hemorrhage, fibrovascular proliferation, and tractional retinal detachment. Ischemic retinal vasculitis can be idiopathic or secondary to systemic disease such as in Behçet’s disease, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Corticosteroids with or without immunosuppressive medication are the mainstay treatment in retinal vasculitis together with laser photocoagulation of retinal ischemic areas. Intravitreal injections of bevacizumab are used to treat neovascularization secondary to systemic lupus erythematosus but should be timed with retinal laser photocoagulation to prevent further progression of retinal ischemia. Antitumor necrosis factor agents have shown promising results in controlling refractory retinal vasculitis excluding multiple sclerosis. Interferon has been useful to control inflammation and induce neovascular regression in retinal vasculitis secondary to Behçet’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The long term effect of these management strategies in preventing the progression of retinal ischemia and preserving vision is not well understood and needs to be further studied.