Terson syndrome

Terson syndrome refers to intraocular haemorrhage associated with subarachnoid haemorrhage. It is usually vitreous or retinal in location. 

Diagnosis is usually made on fundoscopic evaluation. However, it may be overlooked in the setting of severe trauma and subarachnoid haemorrhage. The presence of this entity is predictive of a poor clinical outcome in patients with intracranial haemorrhage.

Intraocular haemorrhage in the setting of subarachnoid haemorrhage is thought to be a consequence of a sudden increase in intracranial pressure causing obstruction of the central retinal vein and retinal venous stasis, which in turn results in intraretinal and vitreous haemorrhages 2.


On CT evaluation, retinal nodularity and crescentic hyperdensity in the posterior globe in association with subarachnoid hemorrhage are highly suggestive of this diagnosis and further ophthalmologic evaluation is recommended.

There is a strong association with visual field defects and the condition may require operative intervention with vitrectomy, particularly in the setting of bilateral vitreous haemorrhages 3.

This condition is named after Albert Terson, French ophthalmologist, who described it in 1900 4

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Article Information

rID: 11072
Section: Syndromes
Tag: eye
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Terson's syndrome

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