Management of macular edema in branch retinal vein occlusion with sheathotomy and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator

Jose García-Arumí, Vicente Martinez-Castillo, Ana Boixadera, Hugo Blasco, Borja Corcostegui

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The common adventitial sheath that surrounds the retinal venule and arteriole at the crossing site plays a crucial role in branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). The purpose of this study was to report the surgical recanalization of the occluded vein using a bimanual technique and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and its effect on final visual acuity. Methods: Arteriovenous sheathotomy was performed, using a bimanual technique, followed by fluid-air exchange and injection of 25 mg of recombinant tPA over the area of the occluded vein. Results: Intraoperative sectioning of the common arteriovenous sheath was achieved in all 40 patients. Thrombus release was observed in 11 cases (27.5%) and was correlated with early surgery (P < 0.001) and better final visual recovery (P = 0.06). Optical coherence tomography showed macular thickness that decreased by greater than 40% in 31 patients (77.5%) compared with preoperatively, and correlated to postoperative visual acuity (P < 0.001). The mean visual acuity increased from 20/100 to 20/40, with 70% of patients gaining three or more lines of visual acuity (Pearson 0.378, P = 0.016). Conclusion: Surgical venous decompression and injection of recombinant tPA may effectively manage macular edema secondary to BRVO, thus improving anatomic and visual outcome. Early surgical intervention may obtain maximum final visual recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-540
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2004


  • Branch retinal vein occlusion
  • Macular edema
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator
  • Sheathotomy


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