Vascular origin in acute transient visual disturbance: A prospective study.

Source: Eur J Neurol

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study was undertaken to validate a clinical score of vascular origin in patients with acute transient visual disturbances (TVDs) without diplopia. | METHODS: We conducted a prospective study in an ophthalmology emergency department and a transient ischemic attack (TIA) clinic. Patients underwent clinical evaluation including a tailored questionnaire, brain, vascular, and ophthalmologic investigations, and 3-month follow-up. TVDs were classified according to vascular or nonvascular origin by three independent experts based on all clinical, cerebrovascular, and ophthalmologic investigations, but blind to the questionnaire results. A clinical score was derived based on clinical variables independently associated with a vascular origin, and was externally validated in an independent cohort. | RESULTS: An ischemic origin of TVD was found in 45% (67/149) of patients in the derivation cohort. Age and six questions were independently associated with an ischemic origin. A nine-point score (≥70 years old = 2; monocular visual loss = 2; black or white vision = 1; single episode = 1; lack of headache = 2; diffuse, constricted, altitudinal, or lateralized visual loss pattern on drawings = 1) showed good discriminative power in identifying ischemic origin (c-statistic = 0.82) and was replicated in the validation cohort (n = 130, 25% of ischemic origin, c-statistic = 0.75). With a score ≥ 4, sensitivity was 85% (95% confidence interval = 68-95) and specificity was 52% (95% confidence interval = 41-62). In both cohorts, ophthalmologic evaluation found a vascular cause in 4% and was noncontributive in 85%. After 3 months, no patients had a stroke, TIA, or retinal infarct. | CONCLUSIONS: Our score may assist in predicting a vascular origin of TVD. Ophthalmologic evaluation, when not readily available, should not delay the neurovascular evaluation.