We studied 40 patients with a total of 44 retinal arterial macroaneurysms. All patients were followed up for at least six months. Macroaneurysms (MAs) have variable clinical presentations and are still frequently misdiagnosed before fluorescein angiography. Haemorrhagic MAs were most frequently misdiagnosed (75%), and had a sudden onset with a relatively poor visual outcome. Patients with these MAs had higher systolic blood pressures and significantly fewer associated retinal vein occlusions (p less than 0.05) than other types of MA. Exudative MAs caused a gradual onset of symptoms, were frequently associated with retinal vein occlusions, and were the most frequent indication for laser treatment. Only one of 10 quiescent MAs subsequently developed significant exudation or haemorrhage. We confirm the association of MAs with retinal and systemic vascular disease. In addition we found that MA patients had a significantly higher blood packed cell volume (haematocrit) than controls (p less than 0.05). Laser treatment significantly shortened the duration of MA patency (p = 0.006).
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