Ocular ischemic syndrome in diabetic patients

Jpn J Ophthalmol. 1999 Jan-Feb;43(1):31-5. doi: 10.1016/s0021-5155(98)00057-4.


Purpose: Diabetes mellitus aggravates carotid occlusive disease, that can manifest as ocular ischemic syndrome (OIS). Ocular manifestations and visual prognosis of OIS in diabetic patients were retrospectively analyzed.

Methods: Twenty-three consecutive diabetic patients with OIS were divided into two groups according to the presence of iris neovascularization, and the clinical features were reviewed.

Results: In the first group, 14 eyes of 12 diabetic patients (11 men and 1 woman) had no iris neovascularization. Two patients had bilateral OIS. The ages in this group ranged from 50-75 years. Four eyes with optic atrophy or ischemic optic neuropathy had severe visual loss. Six eyes with hypoperfusion retinopathy or retinal vein obstruction and 2 eyes with cataract had mild visual loss. Each eye with amaurosis fugax or retinal neovascularization had no visual deterioration. Asymmetrical retinopathy was observed in 2 patients. Carotid surgery stabilized and resolved amaurosis fugax and hypoperfusion retinopathy. In the second group, 11 eyes of 11 patients had iris neovascularization. The patients were all male and their ages ranged from 53-77 years. All eyes with iris neovascularization had severe visual deterioration. In 5 patients, asymmetrical ocular manifestation was observed. Carotid reconstruction surgery and ophthalmological treatment were not successful for recovering a satisfactory visual outcome in OIS.

Conclusion: The features of OIS in diabetic patients mimic diabetic retinopathy and manifest with asymmetrical ocular findings. Iris neovascularization is an indicator of poor visual prognosis. It is essential to recognize the early stages of OIS associated with diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carotid Stenosis / complications
  • Carotid Stenosis / surgery
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Endarterectomy, Carotid
  • Eye / blood supply*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Iris / blood supply
  • Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Ischemia / etiology*
  • Ischemia / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnosis
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome
  • Visual Acuity