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August 1977

Ipsilateral BlindnessA Complication of Carotid Endarterectomy

Author Affiliations

From the Vascular Surgery Section, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1977;112(8):928-932. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370080026003

• We report on three patients in whom ipsilateral blindness developed following carotid endarterectomy. Fundoscopic examination of the retina documented ischemia and the visual field defects were permanent. In one patient, the internal carotid artery was patent and thought to be the conduit for embolization to the eye. Two patients had chronic occlusion of the internal carotid artery, and blindness resulted from atheromatous emboli to the eye through the external carotid artery in one and from postoperative thrombosis of the external carotid artery in the other. Our experience calls attention to this infrequently reported complication of carotid endarterectomy and emphasizes the importance of the external carotid artery, especially when the internal carotid artery is occluded.

(Arch Surg 112:928-932, 1977)