Risk factors for ischemic cerebral stroke in patients with acute amaurosis fugax

Published:November 08, 2022DOI:



      The National Stroke Association and the American Heart Association consider retinal ischemia, as in the case of amaurosis fugax (AF), to be a stroke event. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk factors for ischemic cerebral stroke in patients hospitalized for acute AF.


      The National Inpatient Sample Database from 2002 to 2014 was used to identify patients 21 years of age and older with a primary admission diagnosis of AF with the ICD-9 code 362.34. Comorbidity measures and in-hospital events were extracted using relevant ICD-9 codes. Statistical analyses were performed using IBM SPSS 25 and R package.


      A weighted total of 12,142 patients was identified. The most common comorbidities in this cohort with AF included hypertension, dyslipidemia, tobacco use, coronary artery disease (CAD), and diabetes mellitus. Multivariable regression analysis showed comorbidities of hypercoagulable state, systemic vasculitis, CAD, and atherosclerosis to be independent risk factors for ischemic stroke in patients with AF. In contrast, dyslipidemia was associated with a decreased risk. Asian/Pacific Islander race conferred a 5-fold increased risk compared with Whites.


      Ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction were diagnosed in 0.3%–0.9% of hospitalized acute AF cases. Presence of hypercoagulable state, systemic vasculitis, CAD, and atherosclerosis each individually increased the risk of ischemic stroke by more than 3-fold; patients with these risk factors and acute AF should be closely monitored for developing acute systemic thrombotic events.
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