Retinal ischemia in aortic arch atheromatous disease

Jose G. Romano, Viken L. Babikian, Christine A.C. Wijman, Thomas R. Hedges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Retinal ischemia is often caused by emboli arising from the cardiac chambers or the common carotid artery bifurcation; the latter are often composed of cholesterol. However, in many patients no lesions are identified after evaluation of these sources of emboli. Two patients were observed who had retinal ischemia and emboli originating from aortic atheromatous plaques that were visualized by transesophageal echocardiography. Cardiac, carotid, and intracranial sources of emboli were excluded. The embolic nature of retinal ischemia was further corroborated by the presence of microembolic signals during transcranial Doppler insonalion of the middle cerebral artery on the side ipsilateral to the symptomatic retina. In patients with Hollenhorst plaques the aortic arch can be a potential source of emboli. Transesophageal echocardiography should be considered in these patients when the initial evaluation does not identify a cardiac or carotid lesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-241
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuro-Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Aortic arch plaque
  • Retinal embolism
  • Retinal ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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