Unilateral pulsating exophthalmos was first described by Benjamin Travers in 1809.1 Since then there have been approximately 812 cases reported in the literature. Any retrobulbar mass may produce an exophthalmos, but usually vascular disease is the basis for the pulsating form. The bruit and pulsations of the orbit usually occur from the synchronous movements of the blood through an arteriovenous fistula. These pathologic processes have been verified by many autopsies.
An attempt is being made to present evidence justifying the diagnosis of these conditions and to report a series of cases. A complete summary of all additional reports since Locke's review is submitted.
Travers's conception of the etiology was incorrect, although it was realized that compression of the common carotid caused a cessation of the bruit and a decrease in the degree of the exophthalmos. In 1812 Dalrymple reported a second case of this nature. Before 1823 it was
MARTIN JD, MABON RF. PULSATING EXOPHTHALMOS: REVIEW OF ALL REPORTED CASES. JAMA. 1943;121(5):330–335. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840050028008
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