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Article
March 1950

EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF SYPHILITIC PRIMARY OPTIC NERVE ATROPHY

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA; CAMDEN, N. J.
From the Clinic for Treatment of Ocular Syphilis, Wills Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1950;43(3):537-552. doi:10.1001/archopht.1950.00910010546015
Abstract

IN A PREVIOUS communication1 a study of 397 patients with syphilitic primary optic nerve atrophy was presented. The visual acuity of 61 per cent of these patients when they were first seen was less than 6/60 in both or in the better eye (in 44 per cent it was 1/60 to 6/60, and in 17 per cent it was less than 1/60). This constitutes industrial blindness and represents an unfortunate experience in the early diagnosis of syphilitic optic nerve atrophy among the ward and clinic patients at Wills Hospital.

Our purpose in the present paper is to discuss the earliest signs of syphilitic optic nerve atrophy, the prodromal symptoms and the pitfalls in early diagnosis.

Pertinent data in the study of our 397 patients in relation to early diagnosis are concerned with the following points: 1. The occurrence of optic nerve atrophy in patients whose early syphilis was untreated.

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