A total of 72 ocular bruits in 50 patients with symptoms of atherothrombotic ischemic cerebrovascular disease were studied with continuous-wave Doppler ultrasonography with spectrum analysis (Dopscan). Fourteen patients also had conventional angiography, and 14 had digital subtraction angiography. Ocular bruits by augmentation flow due to occlusion (seven bruits, 9.7%) or tight stenosis (17 bruits, 23.6%) of the contralateral internal carotid artery accounted for only 24 ocular bruits (33.3%). In contrast, siphon stenosis ipsilateral to the ocular bruit was a very common finding. All 14 patients studied with conventional angiography had variable degrees of siphon stenosis ipsilateral to the ocular bruits; there was one angiography failure. We conclude that siphon stenosis can cause ocular bruit alone or can act in combination with augmentation flow by contralateral carotid occlusion or tight stenosis. The difference in their relative occurrence in our patients compared with previous reports probably reflects racial differences in the distribution of stenotic or occluded lesions of the carotid artery between our patients and Caucasian patients. The ocular bruit was the only auscultatory finding in more than a quarter of our patients (14 of 50, 28%).
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