PURPOSE: To determine the effect of arteriovenous sheathotomy on retinal blood flow (RBF) in eyes with branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). DESIGN: Interventional case series. METHODS: Seven eyes of 7 patients with BRVO underwent sheathotomy and were followed for more than 6 months. RESULTS: At 1 week postoperatively, the RBF in the affected vessels was significantly improved from 14.1 +/- 5.7 to 27.3 +/- 11.3 pixel(2)/sec (P < 0.01), and the foveal thickness (FT) was significantly reduced from 536 +/- 84 to 366 +/- 134 microm (P = 0.03). However, the RBF was reduced again to 11.7 +/- 7.7 pixel(2)/sec at 1 month postoperatively, and the FT was increased to 424 +/- 184 microm. CONCLUSIONS: Arteriovenous sheathotomy led to a transient improvement of the RBF and was effective in reducing macular edema. It is not clear whether the transient effect of sheathotomy affects the long-term visual acuity and macular edema.
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