Transient monocular visual loss patterns and associated vascular abnormalities.
To determine if certain transient monocular visual loss patterns predict the associated vascular abnormalities, we prospectively evaluated 100 consecutive patients. Each patient had hematologic tests, a carotid artery study (arteriography in 74, duplex ultrasonography in the remaining 26), and an ophthalmologic examination. Patients with altitudinal or lateralized transient monocular visual loss were more likely to have carotid artery stenosis, carotid artery ulceration, cardiac sources of emboli, or visible retinal emboli than patients with other visual loss patterns. Our findings suggest that altitudinal or lateralized transient monocular visual loss is primarily caused by embolism but that other visual loss patterns are usually caused by nonembolic mechanisms.
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