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Unilateral Arcus Senilis: Sign of Occlusive Disease Of the Carotid Artery

J. Lawton Smith, MD; John O. Susac, MD
JAMA. 1973;226(6):676. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230060052030.
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To the Editor.—  Arcus senilis is an annular infiltration of lipid material in the periphery of the cornea and is a natural consequence of aging. Bilaterality is the hallmark of this finding, which is seen in 60% of people between the ages of forty and sixty, and is virtually always present by eighty years of age.1 We wish to report unilateral arcus senilis in a patient who had contralateral internal carotid artery occlusive disease.

Report of a Case.—  This 85-year-old man was seen at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute for progressive visual loss extending over a five-year period. He also had experienced numerous episodes of amaurosis fugax in the left eye for one year. During these episodes, which would last from one to three minutes, he had no light perception in the left eye. There were no associated symptoms, such as paresthesias or weakness. He had been in good


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