Berlin's edema

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Berlin's edema (commotio retinae) is a condition caused by blunt injury to the eye.[1] It is characterized by decreased vision in the injured eye a few hours after the injury. Under examination the retina appears opaque and white in colour in the periphery but the blood vessels are normally seen. Usually there is no leakage of fluid and therefore it is not considered a true edema. The choroidal fluorescence in fluorescent angiography is absent. Visual acuity ranges from 20/20 to 20/400.

The prognosis is excellent except in case of complications of choroidal rupture, hemorrhage or pigment epithelial damage. The outcome can be worsened in the case of retinal detachment, atrophy or hyperplasia. Visual field defects can occur. In late cases cystoid macular edema sometimes develops which can further lead to macular destruction. Commotio retinae is usually self limiting and there is no treatment as such. It usually resolves without any complications and sequelae.


  1. ^ Sheridan, Robert L.; Lhowe, Laurel C. (2004). The Trauma Handbook of the Massachusetts General Hospital. LWW Medical Book Collection. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 274. ISBN 0-7817-4596-9.