Valsalva retinopathy associated with intranasal cocaine abuse: A case report

Karasavvidou E., Athanasopoulos G., Konstas A. Tsirampidou E., Tranos P.



The purpose of this report is to describe a case of Valsalva retinopathy in an intranasal cocaine user.

Case Report:

A 49-year-old male presented with a history of sudden loss of vision and inferior visual field defect in his left eye. Clinical evaluation of the affected eye showed best corrected visual acuity of 20/25 and fundus examination revealed a preretinal hemorrhage superior to the disk with multiple intraretinal hemorrhages in and around the posterior pole. On further questioning, the patient revealed intranasal cocaine use the day before the onset of his visual symptoms. Blood tests were requested to exclude blood dyscrasias or predisposition to vascular occlusive disorders and no further treatment measures were taken. The patient was reviewed a month later when his hemorrhages had completely resolved and his visual acuity had improved to 20/20. His blood results were within normal limits.


Although never been reported before, Valsalva retinopathy can be associated with intranasal cocaine abuse and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of visual reduction in such population.


Valsalva retinopathy, cocaine abuse, retinal hemorrhages

PMID:  30207173, DOI: 10.1177/1120672118799627

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Source: Pubmed