Amaurosis fugax indicates transient monocular blindness, usually associated with transient retinal ischemia.


The patient may describe the visual loss as:

(1) the fall of a curtain

(2) fogging or blurring

(3) dimming


The most common cause of amaurosis fugax is severe atherosclerosis of the ipsilateral carotid arteries. In this setting there is a significant risk of permanent blindness, stroke and other atherosclerotic complications. Many patients show improvement after carotid endarterectomy.


Other conditions associated with amaurosis fugax:

(1) hereditary thrombophilia (with occlusion of retinal vessels)

(2) Wegener’s granulomatosis or other vasculitis

(3) arterial vasospasm

(4) disease of the aortic arch (dissection, other)


The diagnosis requires exclusion of other cause of monocular blindness.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.