The risk of stroke in patients with first-ever retinal vs hemispheric transient ischemic attacks and high-grade carotid stenosis. North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial

Archives of Neurology
J Y StreiflerD Simard


The prognosis of amaurosis fugax has been considered to be favorable compared with that of hemispheric transient ischemic attacks. However, this has remained uncertain for patients with significant carotid stenosis as the assessment of progression of the disease has been confounded when patients undergo carotid endarterectomy. In the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial, patients with high-grade (70% to 99%) carotid stenosis were randomized to receive either medical or surgical treatment, thus making an unconfounded analysis possible. We identified 129 medically treated patients with high-grade carotid stenosis who had their first-ever transient ischemic attack as the entry event into the trial. Fifty-nine patients with retinal transient ischemic attacks (RTIAs) were compared with 70 patients with hemispheric transient ischemic attacks (HTIAs). Patients with HTIAs were older, with a higher prevalence of most risk factors for stroke. Average time of delay from the onset of transient ischemic attacks to medical treatment was longer for patients with RTIAs than for patients with HTIAs (48.5 vs 15.2 days). Kaplan-Meier estimates of the risk of ipsilateral stroke at 2 years were 16.6% +/- 5.6% for patients with RT...Continue Reading


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