Hollenhorst plaques: retinal manifestations and the role of carotid endarterectomy

J Vasc Surg. 1990 May;11(5):635-41.


The ocular examinations and hospital records of 64 patients with Hollenhorst plaques were retrospectively reviewed to document any associated visual defects and to determine if carotid endarterectomy prevented the occurrence of new plaques or symptoms. One hundred nine Hollenhorst plaques were seen in 75 eyes; 18 had multiple plaques simultaneously. Visual field defects were noted in 14 eyes, four of which corresponded to the location of Hollenhorst plaques. Twenty-eight carotid endarterectomies were performed ipsilateral to a Hollenhorst plaque: 24 patients had no symptoms; four patients developed new ipsilateral asymptomatic Hollenhorst plaques at 1 to 50 months after operation. Two late strokes occurred, one of which was ipsilateral to a new Hollenhorst plaque, during a mean follow-up of 50 months (range 8 to 102 months). Thirty-seven eyes with asymptomatic Hollenhorst plaques did not undergo ipsilateral operation. Two eyes developed new Hollenhorst plaques during a mean follow-up of 23 months (range 1 to 132 months). Eight eyes in patients with no symptoms had multiple Hollenhorst plaques, one of which was associated with a subsequent stroke. Of the 29 eyes with a single Hollenhorst plaque, one subsequently experienced an ipsilateral stroke, and another had a transient ischemic attack (1 and 3 years later, respectively). Visual field defects infrequently corresponded to locations of Hollenhorst plaques. The cerebral hemisphere ipsilateral to asymptomatic plaques had a slightly increased risk of subsequent transient ischemic attack or stroke compared to the contralateral side without Hollenhorst plaques. The number of simultaneous Hollenhorst plaques in the retinal circulation did not predict clinical outcome.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arteriosclerosis / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Carotid Arteries / surgery*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / complications
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Endarterectomy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Retinal Artery Occlusion / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields*


  • Cholesterol