Bilateral central retinal/ophthalmic artery occlusion and near-complete ophthalmoplegia after bilateral lung transplant

Nadine Rady, Ashwini Kini, Jonathan A. Go, Bayan Al Othman, Andrew G. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Recognize a rare yet existing risk of severe visual loss as a postoperative complication of bilateral lung transplant. Observations: A 62-year-old male had undergone bilateral lung transplant for end-stage idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema overlap syndrome. The operation was initially off-pump; however, during the left lung transplantation, cardiopulmonary bypass conversion was necessary to maintain intraoperative hemodynamic stability. On post-operative day 4, shortly after extubation and full recovery from sedation, the patient reported bilateral no light perception vision. There were no other associated neurologic symptoms. A computed tomographic (CT) of the head, cranial magnetic resonance (MR) scan of the head, MR angiogram of the circle of Willis and neck were negative. Neuro-ophthalmologic examination revealed no light perception vision in both eyes(OU). The pupils were non-reactive to light (amaurotic pupils). The intraocular pressure measured 18 mm Hg OU, and complete bilateral ophthalmoplegia was present. The fundus exam showed bilateral pallid optic disc edema, cherry red spots, with arteriolar attenuation, and mildly dilated and tortuous veins. Stroke work up was negative. Conclusions and importance: A case of post-operative visual loss and ophthalmoplegia carrying significant and permanent quality of life implications. It questions the role disruption of homeostasis during cardiopulmonary bypass contributes for this outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100569
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Central retinal artery occlusion
  • Idiopathic
  • Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy
  • Ophthalmoplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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