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Corkscrewing of retinal arterioles leading to diagnosis of coarctation of aorta

 Department of Ophthalmology, Narayana Medical College, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
KV Praveen Kumar,
Department of Ophthalmology, Narayana Medical College, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_137_18

PMID: 30264739

Coarctation of aorta (CoA) usually leads to elevation of blood pressure above the site of obstruction and this elevated blood pressure probably gets transferred and is reflected in the retinal arterioles producing certain signs of hypertensive retinopathy. Fundus examination helps in differentiating hypertension due to CoA from other causes of juvenile hypertension, as corkscrewing of retinal arterioles is seen only in CoA but not in other conditions. A 16 year hypertensive male who was on antihypertensive treatment presented for routine checkup. On examination his visual acuity was 6/6 in both eyes. Funduscopy of both eyes revealed a normal optic disc with generalised narrowing of arterioles and broadened light reflex. The arterioles showed corkscrew tortuosity (U shaped arterioles). Based on the fundus findings, CoA was suspected and the patient was referred for cardiac evaluation. Echocardiogram revealed post ductal CoA. In juvenile hypertension, careful examination of the fundus can provide a clue to the systemic diagnosis and this case highlights the importance of ophthalmoscopic examination in diagnosing a potentially fatal systemic disease.

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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow