Central artery of the retina

Last revised by Frank Gaillard on 2 Jun 2020

The central artery of the retina or central retinal artery arises from the ophthalmic artery near or with the posterior ciliary arteries (either the lateral or medial branches) and supplies the retina 1,2.

Gross anatomy

The central artery of the retina courses anteriorly and inferior to the optic nerve, It then pierces the dura and the arachnoid of the optic nerve. It then runs in the center of the optic nerve with the central vein of the retina. It pierces the lamina cribrosa to enter the globe, where it divides into four branches to supply each quadrant of the globe.


The central artery of the retina supplies the retina and the optic nerve.

Radiographic appearance

The artery is small and not readily directly visualized except by high-quality angiography. Its supply can, however, be seen routinely as the choroidal blush on digital subtraction angiography 3

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Cases and figures

  • Choroidal blush
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