Undertreatment of Vascular Risk Factors in Patients with Monocular Ischaemic Visual Loss

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Abstract

Background and Purpose: Ischaemic visual loss is often considered a lower risk factor than other transient ischaemic attacks (TIA). We aimed to determine the recurrence risk, prevalence and management of vascular risk factors in these patients. Methods: The study took place in the University College Hospital London daily TIA clinic, main referral centre for North-Central London and Moorfields Eye Hospital. Consecutive records for patients with transient (< 24 h) or permanent (> 24 h) ischaemic visual loss were reviewed during the period January 2014–October 2016. Patients diagnosed with temporal arteritis were excluded. Results: Of 400 patients, 224 (56%) were male with mean age 64.5 years (SD 15.1); 263 patients (65.8%) presented with transient and 137 patients (34.2%) with permanent ischaemic visual loss; 51.3% had hypertension (HTN), 35.3% hypercholesterolaemia, 14.5% diabetes, 11.8% ischaemic ocular events, 10.0% ischaemic heart disease, 7.3% atrial fibrillation (AF), 6.3% TIA, 5.3% stroke, and 12.3% were smokers. Median vascular risk factors were 2 (range 1–6), but 122 (30.5%) had ≥3. Those with diabetes (p < 0.001), HTN (p = 0.008), previous myocardial infarction (p = 0.005), or ≥3 vascular risk factors (p = 0.012) were more likely to present with permanent visual loss, while patients with history of transient events, TIA (p = 0.002), or ocular (p = 0.002) presented with transient visual loss. Ninety-day recurrence was 10.5%; this was higher in patients with ≥3 risk factors (hazard ratio 1.42, 95% CI 0.95–2.11, p = 0.111). Patients with past TIA were more likely to be on secondary prevention than those with ocular ischaemia; 60.0 vs. 34.1% received antiplatelets and 76.0 vs. 43.9% statins. At presentation, only 55.2% (16 patients) with known AF were anticoagulated, despite all of them having CHADSVASC ≥1. Conclusions: Approximately one-third of patients with ocular ischaemia had ≥3 vascular risk factors with recurrences higher in these patients. Yet only half of those with previous ischaemic ocular events were on antiplatelets or statins. These patients should be investigated and treated as aggressively as other forms of TIA or stroke.

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