Amaurosis fugax in a Danish community: a prospective study.
A prospective study of amaurosis fugax was carried out in a Danish community (population 481,000); case ascertainment was based on the collaboration of practicing ophthalmologists and general practitioners. Over a 3-year period we registered 131 cases; the annual incidence of "first amaurosis fugax episodes coming to medical attention" was 8.6 and 6.2 per 100,000 population for men and women, respectively. On the basis of a comparison of the age-incidence curves for cerebral and retinal ischemic attacks, the "true" incidence of amaurosis fugax is estimated to be approximately 14/100,000/yr, or 25-30% of the reported incidence of transient ischemic attacks. Clinical and/or radiologic signs of a carotid lesion on the appropriate side were present in 56% of the patients, and an additional 27% had symptoms or signs of other organic cardiovascular disorders. Forty-three (68%) of the 63 patients who underwent arteriography had an atheromatous lesion apparently amenable to carotid endarterectomy. In spite of the case-finding procedures employed in the study, cases of amaurosis fugax suitable for carotid surgery were thus ascertained at a rate of only 3/100,000/yr. This suggests that surgical treatment of patients with retinal ischemic attacks is of minor importance as a preventive measure against stroke in the community.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association