• The globes from two elderly women who underwent enucleation for malignant melanoma of the choroid showed cavernous degeneration of the optic nerve. Both individuals had prominent optic cups and a strong family history of severe cardiovascular disease; one patient also had mild anemia and substantial arteriosclerotic heart disease. Neither patient showed any clinical or histologic evidence of glaucoma. It is proposed that cavernous degeneration of the optic nerves in some patients may represent an aging change associated with generalized arteriosclerosis. Individuals with large optic cups may be more at risk of developing this condition.
Brownstein S, Font RL, Zimmerman LE, Murphy SB. Nonglaucomatous Cavernous Degeneration of the Optic NerveReport of Two Cases. Arch Ophthalmol. 1980;98(2):354-358. doi:10.1001/archopht.1980.01020030350025