Atherosclerotic carotid artery disease in patients with retinal ischemic syndromes

J. B. Chawluk, M. J. Kushner, W. J. Bank, F. L. Silver, D. G. Jamieson, T. M. Bosley, D. J. Conway, D. Cohen, P. J. Savino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The extracranial carotid systems of 105 patients with retinal ischemia were examined using B-mode ultrasonography with integrated pulsed Doppler. Sixty-four patients had amaurosis fugax (AF), 17 central retinal artery occlusions (CRAO), and 21 branch retinal artery occlusions (BRAO). The prevalence of carotid stenosis (≥60%) ipsilateral to the symptomatic eye was low (16%). Eighty-six percent of AF patients had either no plaque or plaque causing less than a 60% stenosis. A significant proportion of subjects with normal duplex scans had alternative explanations for their retinal ischemia (eg, migraine, cardiac embolus). Patients with Hollenhorst plaques were more likely to have stenotic or ulcerated plaque (p = 0.04). The degree of carotid stenosis correlated significantly with the number of vascular risk factors identified in individual patients (p = 0.02). The presence of risk factors was more common in CRAO and BRAO patients compared with the AF group. Combined ultrasound-Doppler investigations of the carotid bifurcation are valuable noninvasive tools for the screening of patients with retinal ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-863
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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