Clinical Indicators of Extracranial Carotid Artery Disease in Patients With Transient Symptoms
The clinical findings in 64 patients with transient symptoms of unilateral carotid system ischemic disease (amaurosis fugax or transient focal cerebral ischemic attacks or both) were reviewed in an effort to determine the value of the neurovascular examination in predicting the presence and extent of roentgenographically demonstrated ipsilateral extracranial internal carotid artery disease. Amaurosis fugax seems to be a highly specific indicator of disease, being associated with 4% of normal vessels as compared to 27% for patients with transient focal cerebral ischemic attacks alone. In patients with transient symptoms, the incidence of a normal, ipsilateral carotid artery was 36% in the absence of any positive neurovascular findings, 15% in the presence of an ipsilateral carotid bruit, 6% in the presence of ipsilateral retinal embolic events, 5% in the presence of ipsilateral reduction in superficial temporal or carotid (or both) pulse, 4% in the presence of an ipsilateral reduction in retinal artery pressure, and 3% when more than one of these findings were noted. The neurovascular examination appears to be a useful adjunct in detecting the presence or absence of ipsilateral carotid disease. However, no combination of symptoms or signs would, in all cases, allow one to accurately determine whether a vessel was abnormal, stenotic, or occluded.
- amaurosis fugax
- carotid bruit
- neurovascular examination
- retinal artery pressure
- retinal emboli
- transient ischemic attacks
- © 1973 American Heart Association, Inc.