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01.12.2017 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Ophthalmology 1/2017

Choroidal infarction in a glaucoma patient with Flammer syndrome: a case report with a long term follow-up

BMC Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Barbara Terelak-Borys, Iwona Grabska-Liberek, Anita Piekarniak-Wozniak, Katarzyna Konieczka



We present a long term follow-up of a young female patient with choroidal infarction, primary open angle glaucoma and Flammer syndrome. The patient had no classical risk factors for vascular occlusions, except for the presence of Flammer syndrome. The essential feature of this syndrome is primary vascular dysregulation, sometimes including vasospasm. The vessels of affected people respond more intensely to a number of stimuli, such as coldness or emotional stress. Any organ can be involved, including parts of the eye. The dense autonomic innervation of the choroidal vessels predisposes them particularly to vasospasms.

Case presentation

The patient was originally referred to our centre because of a deep unilateral paracentral scotoma with the presumptive diagnosis of a normal tension glaucoma. The discrepancy between the visual field defect and the optic nerve head morphology, however, led us to a vascular evaluation by a simultaneous fluorescein/indocyanine green angiography. This revealed an antecedent choroidal infarction that explained the visual field scotoma and the retinal nerve fibre layer defect in the corresponding area. During the follow-up period of 11 years, the patient also developed bilateral glaucomatous optic neuropathy despite a well-controlled intraocular pressure.


We hypothesise that in the patient presented here, the Flammer syndrome contributed to both the acute unilateral choroidal infarction and to the chronic development of bilateral glaucomatous optic neuropathy.
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