Seventy patients with retinal strokes were seen from August 1969 to March 1972. Fifty-three of these patients had a clinical picture suggestive of retinal artery occlusion due to emboli from atheromatous disease of the carotid bifurcation. Carotid arteriograms were performed in 45 of these patients. Carotid bifurcation atheromata were demonstrated as the probable source of emboli in 43 of the 45 patients (96%).
Review of a series of 100 consecutive carotid arteriograms performed in hospital patients 60 years of age or older demonstrated an overall incidence of similar carotid atheromatous disease in only 24%. The striking incidence of carotid lesions in patients with retinal stroke syndromes suggests that most retinal strokes are caused by embolization from carotid bifurcation atheromata.
Kollarits CR, Lubow M, Hissong SL. Retinal StrokesI. Incidence of Carotid Atheromata. JAMA. 1972;222(10):1273–1275. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210100023005