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Article
August 1947

ATROPHY OF THE OPTIC NERVE ASSOCIATED WITH TABES DORSALIS AND WITH GLAUCOMA

Arch Ophthalmol. 1947;38(2):199-220. doi:10.1001/archopht.1947.00900010206007
Abstract

IN A SMALL percentage of cases of tabes dorsalis, about 15 per cent according to Uhthoff,1 bilateral progressive atrophy of the optic nerve can be detected by the pronounced pallor of the optic disk. It is an early sign, preceding all other manifestations of tabes, even the subjective disorder of vision. Its salient feature is the atrophy of the nerve head, without any noticeable change in the arteries. It is to be differentiated from another, similar, type of atrophy, in which in addition to the discoloration of the papilla the arteries are narrowed, owing to an inflammatory process involving both the arterial wall and the surrounding tissue. Whereas in the latter type of atrophy syphilis of the meninges is suggested as the underlying cause, the pathogenesis of the first type is obscure. From the clinical point of view, it is worth while to note the slow but relentless progress

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