Background: We evaluated the effect of carotid revascularization surgery for ocular circulation and chronic ocular ischemic syndrome (OIS).
Methods: We examined ninety-nine patients with carotid artery stenosis (more than 50% stenosis) at its origin treated by carotid endarterectomy (N=65) or carotid artery stenting (N=34). Twenty-six patients (26%) complained of chronic OIS. Ocular circulation was examined before and after revascularization surgery using ophthalmic artery (OphAr) and central retinal artery (CRA) color Doppler flow imaging.
Results: 1) Ocular circulation: Preoperatively, the average OphAr peak systolic flow velocity (Vs) was 0.05 m/sec, and the average CRA Vs was 0.07 m/sec. At 1 week after surgery, the average OphAr Vs significantly increased to 0.32 (p < 0.05), and the average CRA Vs significantly increased to 0.11 m/sec (p < 0.05). These significant improvements were sustained throughout the three months of the follow up.2) OIS: During the follow-up period (mean: 3.6 years), 16 patients (62%) showed visual acuity improvement, and no patients complained of amaurosis fugax or worsening of the chronic OIS.
Conclusion: Carotid revascularization surgery was effective in improving the ocular circulation, and it was also useful for the chronic OIS due to the carotid artery stenosis.