Dilated episcleral arteries--a significant physical finding in assessment of patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency.
Dilated episcleral vessels associated with ipsilateral internal carotid artery occlusions have been previously reported though not widely appreciated. These ocular changes have been presumed to be manifestations of ocular ischemia. The authors have recently encountered this sign in seven patients and in none was there evidence of ocular ischemia. In addition to an ipsilateral internal carotid artery occlusion, arteriograms demonstrated that the major source of blood supply to the homolateral cerebral hemisphere was by retrograde flow through markedly enlarged ophthalmic arteries filled in retrograde fashion from dilated external carotid collateral channels in the orbit. This association of dilated episcleral arteries as a sign of increased orbital blood flow and the major source of collateral blood supply to the homolateral cerebral hemisphere has not been previously reported. We reemphasize the importance of a careful examination of the episcleral vessels in patients suspected of having internal carotid artery occlusions.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association