The recent emphasis on new pharmacologic treatments for exudative age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, while commendable, has tended to obscure the fact that another common retinal disorder, central retinal vein occlusion, is, for the most part, untreatable with significant visual morbidity. Based on a recent population-based survey of retinal venous occlusive disease in adults1 and US census figures for 2000,2 as many as 36 500 persons per year develop central retinal vein occlusion in the United States alone. Coupled with as many as 95 000 persons per year who develop branch retinal vein occlusion, the 2 entities combined may account for significant vision loss in more than 130 000 persons per year in the United States. This begins to approach the annual incidence of cases of exudative age-related macular degeneration and makes it increasingly apparent from a public health standpoint that new and effective therapies are desperately needed.
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