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Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO)

Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a disease of the eye where the flow of blood through the central retinal artery is blocked. There are several different causes of this occlusion; the most common is carotid artery atherosclerosis. Central retinal artery occlusions cause sudden, acute, and painless loss of vision in one eye. Fundoscopic exam will show a red lesion, called a "cherry red spot," with surrounding pale retina. The most common cause for CRAO is carotid artery atherosclerosis. In patients of 70 years of age and older, giant cell arteritis is more likely to be the cause than in younger patients. Other causes can include dissecting aneurysms and arterial spasms.