Br J Ophthalmol 91:1644-1649 doi:10.1136/bjo.2007.118497
  • Extended report
    • Clinical science - Extended reports

Association between integrity of foveal photoreceptor layer and visual acuity in branch retinal vein occlusion

  1. Masafumi Ota,
  2. Akitaka Tsujikawa,
  3. Tomoaki Murakami,
  4. Mihori Kita,
  5. Kazuaki Miyamoto,
  6. Atsushi Sakamoto,
  7. Noritatsu Yamaike,
  8. Nagahisa Yoshimura
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
  1. Akitaka Tsujikawa, Department of Ophthalmology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan; tujikawa{at}
  • Accepted 1 May 2007
  • Published Online First 15 May 2007


Aim: To study the correlation between integrity of the photoreceptor layer after resolution of macular oedema (MO) associated with branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) and final visual acuity (VA), and to determine prognostic factors for visual outcome.

Methods: We retrospectively studied 46 eyes from 46 patients with resolved MO secondary to BRVO, the foveal thickness of which was less than 250 µm at final observation. We assessed the status of the third high reflectance band (HRB) in the fovea using optical coherence tomography (OCT) at final observation, and studied OCT images taken at the initial visit in the hope of identifying a factor that would be prognostic of visual outcome.

Results: No differences were found in initial VA or in foveal thickness between eyes with or without complete third HRB at final observation. However, final VA in eyes without a complete HRB was significantly poorer (p<0.002). Additionally, initial status of the third HRB in the parafoveal area of unaffected retina was associated with final VA; lack of visualisation of the third HRB at 500 µm (p = 0.0104) or 1000 µm (p = 0.0167) from the fovea on initial OCT images was associated with poor visual recovery after resolution of the MO.

Conclusion: Integrity of the photoreceptor layer in the fovea is associated with VA in resolved MO, and status of the third HRB before treatment might be predictive of visual outcome.


  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Abbreviations:

    branch retinal vein occlusion


    high reflectance band


    macular oedema


    optical coherence tomography


    retinal pigment epithelium


    visual acuity