Central retinal venous pulsations

Balakrishnan (Kichu) R Nair, Christine Y Chen, William Browne and Daniel McKay
Med J Aust 2016; 205 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00413
Published online: 3 October 2016

Diagnosing raised intracranial pressure through ophthalmoscopic examination

The ophthalmoscope is one of the most useful and underutilised tools and it rewards the practitioner with a wealth of clinical information. Through illumination and a number of lenses for magnification, the direct ophthalmoscope allows the physician to visualise the interior of the eye. Ophthalmoscopic examination is an essential component of the evaluation of patients with a range of medical conditions, including diabetes mellitus, systemic hypertension and conditions associated with raised intracranial pressure (ICP). The fundus has exceptional clinical significance because it is the only location where blood vessels can be directly observed as part of a physical examination.

  • Balakrishnan (Kichu) R Nair1
  • Christine Y Chen2,3
  • William Browne4
  • Daniel McKay3,4

  • 1 John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW
  • 2 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Monash Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 4 Eastern Health, Melbourne, VIC


We thank Stephanie Marshall, Orthoptist at Monash Health Ophthalmology Department, for the accompanying video, and Justin O’Day for the image in the , which was previously published in Bruce AS, O’Day J, McKay D, Swann PG. Posterior eye disease and glaucoma A-Z. London: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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