Bilateral Sequential Central Retinal Artery Occlusion due to Giant Cell Arteritis
A patient presented with acute, painless loss of vision in each eye occurring successively over a few days. He was diagnosed with bilateral central retinal artery occlusions (CRAO) and immediately underwent treatment for possible giant cell arteritis (GCA) while the etiology of CRAO was being determined. Further workup initially proved ambiguous in many respects for GCA verses other types of vasculitis. Definitive diagnosis of GCA was achieved with temporal artery biopsy, though this too demonstrated characteristics of other vasculitides. While awaiting pathology results, empiric treatment for GCA should continue uninterrupted to prevent progression or relapse, as GCA carries a significant risk of vision loss and visual recovery is exceedingly rare. Ultimately, the diagnosis relies heavily on clinical correlation.