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Chang Gung Med J. 2001 Aug;24(8):483-91.

Ocular ischemic syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 5, Fu-Hsing Street, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan, R.O.C.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical features and management of ocular ischemic syndrome (OIS) and factors influencing its development.


Ten patients (12 eyes) with OIS underwent detailed medical and ocular histories, complete ophthalmic evaluation including fluorescein angiography, internal carotid artery evaluation by duplex ultrasonography, and management. The following outcome measures were considered: visual acuity, anterior segment neovascularization, lens status, retinal and choroidal changes, and carotid artery stenosis or occlusion.


The mean age of the patients was 63 +/- 8 years. Presenting visual symptoms included gradual (82.5%) or sudden (17.5%) onset of vision loss. At initial visit, eyes with OIS had visual acuity less than or equal to counting fingers in 50%, iris neovascularization in 58%, and neovascular glaucoma in 42%. Initially associated systemic diseases in these patients included arterial hypertension (60%), diabetes mellitus (40%), coronary artery disease (20%), previous stroke (30%) and hemodialysis (10%). Complete occlusion or severe occlusion (70-99%) of the internal carotid artery was seen in 75% on the side of OIS. Panretinal photocoagulation did not prevent OIS from progressing but vitreous hemorrhage and rubeosis iris regressed. Carotid endarterectomy had some benefit in stabilizing or improving vision in patients with OIS.


OIS has a poor visual prognosis. It is imperative that the clinician be aware of the signs and symptoms of carotid disease in order to facilitate prompt diagnosis and appropriate referral, because OIS may be the presenting sign of serious ischemic cerebrovascular and ischemic heart disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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