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Amaurosis fugax: risk factors and prevalence of significant carotid stenosis

Authors Kvickström P, Lindblom B, Bergström G, Zetterberg M

Received 23 June 2016

Accepted for publication 26 August 2016

Published 31 October 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 2165—2170

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S115656

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Pia Kvickström,1 Bertil Lindblom,2,3 Göran Bergström,4,5 Madeleine Zetterberg2,3

1Department of Ophthalmology, Skaraborg Hospital, Skövde, 2Department of Clinical Neuroscience/Ophthalmology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, 3Department of Ophthalmology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, 4Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, 5Department of Clinical Physiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe clinical characteristics and prevalence of carotid stenosis in patients with amaurosis fugax (AF).
Method: Patients diagnosed with AF and subjected to carotid ultrasound in 2004–2010 in Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg (n=302), were included, and data were retrospectively collected from medical records.
Results: The prevalence of significant carotid stenosis was 18.9%, and 14.2% of the subjects were subjected to carotid endarterectomy. Significant associations with risk of having ≥70% stenosis were male sex (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 2.62; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.26–5.46), current smoking (aOR: 6.26; 95% CI: 2.62–14.93), diabetes (aOR: 3.68; 95% CI: 1.37–9.90) and previous vasculitis (aOR: 10.78; 95% CI: 1.36–85.5). A majority of the patients (81.4%) was seen by an ophthalmologist prior to the first ultrasound. Only 1.7% of the patients exhibited retinal artery emboli at examination.
Conclusion: The prevalence of carotid stenosis among patients with AF is higher than has previously been demonstrated in stroke patients. An association with previously reported vascular risk factors and with vasculitis is seen in this patient group. Ocular findings are scarce.

Keywords: amaurosis fugax, carotid stenosis, carotid ultrasound, giant cell arteritis, transient ischemic attack, transient monocular visual loss

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