A Review of the Carotid Artery Stenosis and Ocular Ischemic Disease from the Perspective of Integrative Medicine

  • Ran Sun
  • Dachuan Liu
  • Qi Zhou
Part of the Advances in Visual Science and Eye Diseases book series (AVSED, volume 3)


The carotid artery is the main blood vessel linking the heart, head, and face. Carotid artery stenosis is one of the most common causes of ischemic stroke. Ocular ischemic diseases are a group of diseases where pathophysiological changes are caused by ischemia of eye tissues. Many patients with carotid artery stenosis show symptoms of ocular ischemic diseases first and visit the ophthalmology department; no matter transient or persistence, patients with carotid stenosis who have ocular symptoms often have severe carotid artery stenosis already. From the perspective of ophthalmology, even though the etiology of ischemic ophthalmopathy is complex, they can all lead to pathological changes of retinal nerve tissues and vascular tissue. This makes early diagnosis difficult, and often requires repeated surgical treatments to rescue the remnant visual function in the advanced stage. From the perspective of integrative medicine, the anatomical homology of the carotid artery and ophthalmic artery determines their inseparable relationship; ocular ischemic disease is essentially a blood circulation disorder disease. We should look beyond the organs when analyzing it, and in the analysis of ocular blood circulation we should not only consider the terminal blood supply like the central retinal artery but also figure out the condition of the carotid artery. On the other hand, if we are studying the ocular ischemic syndrome in the view of integrative medicine, we will find that the essence is the decrease of blood supply from upstream vessels of ocular artery, i.e., the carotid artery. This will lead to a chronic or acute ischemia, not only the fundus but also the whole eye globe. Therefore, when considering treatment, we should jump out of the mindset of sub-disciplines and solve the fundamental problem. Other symptoms will also be easily solved in this way.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. and People's Medical Publishing House, PR of China 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ran Sun
    • 1
  • Dachuan Liu
    • 1
  • Qi Zhou
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyXuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyPeking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

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