Nine young adults (median age 19.5 years) who suffered from amaurosis fugax (AF) are described. The attacks of AF were short in duration and preceded by premonitory symptoms in five cases and by a migrainous headache in two. In five patients the visual loss progressed in a lacunar pattern unlike the 'curtain' pattern characteristic of AF in older patients. Investigation revealed no evidence of an embolic or atheromatous aetiology. In two cases a minor abnormality was found on echocardiography. We conclude that AF in young adults has a different clinical pattern and may have a different aetiology, possibly migrainous, compared with that seen in older patients. The pattern of visual loss in some of the cases suggests that the choroidal circulation rather than the retinal circulation is primarily affected.
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