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August 1985

The Risk of Cerebrovascular and Cardiovascular Disease in Patients With Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

Author Affiliations

From the Neuro-Ophthalmology Unit and the Retinal Vascular Center, The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(8):1136-1142. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050080048018

• Of 217 patients in whom anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION) was diagnosed during the period from 1975 to 1985, verifiable medical information was obtained for 212 (98%). Over a median follow-up period of three years, no group of patients had an increased mortality rate over that of age-, sex-, and race-matched controls; however, patients with "idiopathic" AION and patients with systemic hypertension who developed nonarteritic AION had a statistically significant increased risk of experiencing cerebrovascular events and myocardial infarctions compared with appropriately matched control groups. In view of the findings of our study, we suggest that patients with idiopathic AION and hypertensive patients who develop nonarteritic AION undergo a complete physical examination, cardiac evaluation, tests of carotid artery patency, and careful medical follow-up to attempt to prevent subsequent cerebrovascular or cardiovascular events.

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