Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine| Volume 60, ISSUE 2, P220-222, February 2021

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A Unique Case of Valsalva Retinopathy: Preretinal Hemorrhage Identified on Bedside Ultrasound



      Emergency physicians frequently evaluate patients with vision changes. The differential for this chief symptom is broad. We present a unique cause of a fixed scotoma that started while the patient was running sprints.

      Case Report

      The patient described a bright central scotoma that later became a dark oblique line across her central vision. This painless defect moved predictably with eye movements. Ocular ultrasonography was performed and revealed a well-demarcated hyperechoic lesion in the posterior segment of the right eye. There was no similar lesion found in her left eye. In consultation with ophthalmology, the patient's history and examination were consistent with valsalva retinopathy. To our knowledge, this is only the second published case of valsalva retinopathy/premacular hemorrhage identified on ocular ultrasonography in emergency medicine literature. In this article, we further expand on management and provide correlating fundoscopic images.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Emergency physicians frequently evaluate patients with visual changes. Valsalva retinopathy is a rare cause of a visual scotoma that can be diagnosed through history and ultrasound. It often resolves over weeks to months without intervention. However, it does require urgent ophthalmologic evaluation to rule out peripheral retinal tears, which may require laser retinopexy or surgical management.


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