Amaurosis fugax


Eye anatomy.
  • Transient painless visual loss caused by either circulatory, ocular or a neurologic condition. Vision loss can last a few seconds to minutes.[1]
  • Fugax is greek for "fleeing"
  • Greatest suspicion in assessing these patients should be to evaluation for acute stroke and embolic phenomenon as that will carry the greatest mortality[2]

Clinical Features

  • Patients report complete blackening of vision.

Differential Diagnosis

Causes are divided into embolic, hemodynamic, ocular, neurologic, and idiopathic [3]






  • Diagnosis of exclusion

Acute Vision Loss (Noninflamed)

Emergent Diagnosis


Workup will focus will vary significantly based on the differential and clinical presentation

In general it includes:


Management also varies also based final diagnosis

  • Intrinsic ocular causes require ophtho evaluation and referral
  • Cardiologic cause requires admission and cardiology consultation
  • Neurologic causes require admission and neurologic consultation
  • Hematologic causes or vasculitis related causes will require sub specialist consultation


  • Close follow-up or admission depending on the final determined cause

See Also

External Links


  1. Fisher CM et al. "'Transient monocular blindness' versus 'amaurosis fugax'". Neurology. December 1989. 39 (12): 1622–4. doi:10.1212/wnl.39.12.1622. PMID 2685658
  2. Benavente O et al. "Prognosis after transient monocular blindness associated with carotid-artery stenosis". N. Engl. J. Med. 345 (15): 1084–90. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa002994. PMID 11596587 Full text
  3. "Current management of amaurosis fugax. The Amaurosis Fugax Study Group". Stroke 21 (2): 201–8. February 1990. doi:10.1161/01.STR.21.2.201. PMID 2406992 Full Text
  4. Bacigalupi M et al. "Amaurosis Fugax-A Clinical Review". The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2006 4 (2): 1–6.Fulltext
  5. Mundall J, Quintero P, Von Kaulla KN, Harmon R, Austin J (March 1972). "Transient monocular blindness and increased platelet aggregability treated with aspirin. A case report". Neurology 22 (3): 280–5.
  6. Mattsson, P, Lundberg, PO. Characteristics and prevalence of transient visual disturbances indicative of migraine visual aura. Cephalalgia. Jun 1999;19(5):477.