Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, June 3, 2013

Eye Test for Stroke Risk Info from Baltimore Ophthalmologist

Baltimore Ophthalmologist Arturo Betancourt, M.D. shared encouraging information about a new eye test that may help identify patients who are at high risk for stroke. “I am really quite pleased to have reviewed a study about a new eye test for stroke risk from the University of Zurich published in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology,“ commented Dr. Betancourt. “This study showed that a test called Ocular Pulse Amplitude (OPA) can reliably detect carotid artery stenosis (CAS) or carotid artery narrowing, a condition that clogs or blocks the arteries that feed the front part of the brain which is a known risk factor for stroke. I am hopeful that we will soon be able to perform this test as part of a routine eye exam.”

Each year, approximately 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke, and more than 137,000 of these people die as a result. People with severe CAS are much more likely to suffer stroke.”We would like to catch and treat CAS before that can happen, but because CAS has no symptoms and an efficient test is not currently available the disease often goes undetected,” explained Dr. Betancourt.

"The results of the study show that ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) is a reliable, safe screening test for carotid artery stenosis," said Dr. Betancourt. “This is important as early detection of clinically significant CAS, defined as 60 percent to 99 percent blockage of the carotid arteries will go a long way to stroke prevention. At the moment there are some high-tech tests, such as magnetic resonance angiography and color duplex ultrasound, but they are expensive and not widely available-and certainly not part of a routine eye exam in our offices,” said Dr. Betancourt. “It could be safe, efficient and convenient to perform the OPA test during a regular eye exam.” If you or someone you know has questions about eye exams, eye health and stroke prevention please feel free to contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.