Contributor: Thomas J. Cummings
Carotid artery insufficiency is an occlusovascular disease in which insufficient blood flows through the carotid artery. The condition is either diagnosed in asymptomatic individuals, or in symptomatic patients who develop transient ischemic attacks or stroke. Approximately 500,000 new strokes occur in the United States each year resulting in ~200,000 deaths, and most of these cases are secondary to carotid artery disease resulting in cerebrovascular ischemia or infarction. Ocular signs and symptoms related to carotid artery insufficiency include amaurosis fugax, Hollenhorst plaques, venous stasis retinopathy, ocular ischemic syndrome, central retinal artery occlusion, ischemic optic neuropathy [optic neuropathy - ischemic], compressive optic neuropathy [optic neuropathy - compressive], Horner syndrome, oculomotor nerve palsy, and ocular pain.