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Frequency of spontaneous pulsations of the central retinal vein
  1. Bjoern Harder,
  2. Jost B Jonas
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany
  1. Correspondence to: Dr J B Jonas Universitäts-Augenklinik, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1–3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany;Jost.Jonas{at}

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The central retinal vein is the only structure in the body which can be examined non-invasively, runs through the cerebrospinal fluid space, and has a shape that depends on the relationship between its internal pressure and the pressure in the space surrounding it. Estimation of central retinal vein pressure is, therefore, helpful in the assessment of cerebrospinal fluid pressure—that is, the intracranial pressure.1–4 Central retinal vein pressure may be assessed by determining the external pressure at which the central retinal vein starts to pulsate. This method of assessment is similar to Riva-Rocci’s method of indirect measurement of arterial blood presure. For the central retinal vein, the external pressure is the intraocular pressure. The purpose of the present study was to find out the proportion percentage of subjects in whom the central retinal vein shows spontaneous pulsations, indicating that the pressure in the vein is lower than the intraocular pressure. The assessment of spontaneous retinal venous pulsations may be very useful …

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  • Competing interests: None.