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August 1980

Anterior Ischemic Optic NeuropathyIV. Occurrence After Cataract Extraction

Author Affiliations

From the Ocular Vascular Clinic, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1980;98(8):1410-1416. doi:10.1001/archopht.1980.01020040262010

• Findings are described from 13 eyes in which post-cataract-extraction anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (PCE-AION) developed immediately after an uncomplicated cataract extraction. During the early stages of the disease, the disc is edematous, with optic disc-related visual-field defects, but after about two months, the disc is pale. The almost invariable high rise of intraocular pressure during the immediate postoperative period plays a critical role in production of PCE-AION in eyes with vulnerable optic nerve head circulation. There is a high risk of development of PCE-AION in the second eye in patients with PCE-AION in the first eye, but this can be prevented by prophylactic measures. Post-cataract-extraction AION needs to be differentiated from ordinary AION seen in aphakic eyes months or years after the cataract extraction.