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Article
January 1948

UNILATERAL SYPHILITIC PRIMARY ATROPHY OF THE OPTIC NERVESAn Anatomic Study of Two Cases

Author Affiliations

INDIANAPOLIS
From the Research Department, Central State Hospital, and the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1948;39(1):80-91. doi:10.1001/archopht.1948.00900020083008
Abstract

UNILATERAL syphilitic primary optic nerve atrophy will almost always become bilateral if not treated properly. If, however, therapy is begun while the atrophy of the optic nerve is limited to one side, involvement of the normal eye may be prevented in a high proportion of cases.1

In my anatomic material of 12 cases of syphilitic primary optic nerve atrophy, death had occurred at a time when the atrophy was confined to one optic nerve in 2. The histologic study of the visual pathways in these 2 cases furnished the clue to the ultimate degeneration of the nerve fibers of both optic nerves.

REPORT OF CASES 

Case 1.  —Unilateral syphilitic primary atrophy of the optic nerve in a patient with dementia paralytica.A Negro woman aged 65 presented the characteristic symptoms of dementia paralytica without tabetic involvement of the spinal cord. There were syphilitic aortic insufficiency and roentgenographic evidence of

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