Vol. 123, No. 1 (Supplement) 2018
Supplement abstract

Cilioretinal arteries: incidence in a 1110 patients’sample

Luigi Pannarale
Dipartimento SAIMLAL, Università degli Studi di Roma Sapienza, Roma, Italia
Loredana Arrico
Dipartimento Organi di Senso, Università degli Studi di Roma Sapienza, Roma, Italia
Martina Formisano
Dipartimento Organi di Senso, Università degli Studi di Roma Sapienza, Roma, Italia

Published 2018-12-30


  • Cilioretinal artery,
  • CRAO,
  • CRVO,
  • retinal blood flow

How to Cite

Pannarale, L., Arrico, L., & Formisano, M. (2018). Cilioretinal arteries: incidence in a 1110 patients’sample. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 123(1), 165. https://doi.org/10.13128/ijae-11480


The central retinal artery, supplies retinal vasculature. In some cases, a part of retinal cir- culation is supplied by a cilioretinal artery [1]. Cilioretinal arteries take rise from a posterior ciliary artey [2]. If retinal vascular occlusion occurs, the presence of a cilioretinal artery can be a significant factor influencing visual morbidity [3]. Studies on the frequency of this anatomical anomaly are limited in number and most of them take into consideration a small number of subjects. Largest two studies are Wang et al. (1991) [4], on 2050 patients, published only in Chi- nese language, and Liu et al (2011) on 2500 patients [5].

We examined the fundus photographies of 1110 patients between the age of 7 and 100, with an average of 51 years old.Observations were made through the use of a high definition confo- cal scanner fundus camera (Eidon). This instrument provides high resolution images in a short time even through an undilated pupil. These characteristics have been advantageous for obtain- ing viable images of the fundus oculi even in the pediatric patients. Cilioretinal arteries were found in 380 patients (34.2%). Among 380 patients, 178 (47% ) were males and 202 (53%)were females. Of these patients, 97 (25,5 %) presented this anatomical variant in both eyes and 283 (74,5%) in only one eye. This variant was mostly present in the right eye (64,7 %of the right eyes and 35,3%of the left eyes), and 95 patients (25%) had more than one cilioretinal artery. Finally, in 330 cases (87%) the vessels were temporal, in 19 (5%) were only nasal and in 30 cases (8%) the patients had both temporal and nasal cilioretinal arteries. This is one of the largest studies in literature. Our results are obtained with a non invasive technique. Nevertheless, inci- dence of cilioretinal arteries in our study is comparable with that obtained by fundus fluores- cein angiography, normally considered the most accurate method to visualize retinal vessels. Our non invasive approach is a base for further investigations.


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