Archive Of Standardized Exam Questions: Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO)


This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is CRAO. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how CRAO will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a traditional question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.


Question # 1

A 70 year old male comes to the emergency department because he has experienced a sudden onset of painless vision loss in his left eye. This began several hours ago. The patient explains that the vision loss felt like a “shade dropping over my eye”. He has had very similar episodes in the recent past that have resolved after several minutes. He denies seeing any flashing lights or having floaters in his eyes. His past medical history is notable for hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Today in the hospital his temperature is 98.4°F, blood pressure is 155/90 mm Hg, pulse is 70/min, and respiration’s are 15/min. His visual acuity is 20/20 on the left and 20/200 on the right. A funduscopic exam is shown below: 


What is the likely diagnosis in this patient? 

Explanation: acute painless vision loss + cherry red macula = CRAO


Page Updated: 02.19.2017