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Most ophthalmic diagnoses depend on what is seen with the slit lamp and the ophthalmoscope. Neuro-ophthalmic disorders, on the other hand, usually require a different approach, which involves integrating clinical data from several sources to form differential diagnoses that may demand further workup. Because this approach can be quite complex, there is a continuing need for educational materials that provide guidelines for dealing with neuro-ophthalmic symptoms and signs to supplement more standard texts on individual diseases. Flow charts (decision trees or algorithms) have become popular devices for teaching medical students stepby-step methods of utilizing clinical data. The authors of Clinical Decisions in Neuro-Ophthalmology have applied this method to help ophthalmologists to deal more effectively with a variety of neuro-ophthalmic problems.
At first, the reader who is not entirely familiar with flow charts may be put off by the oversimplification this approach appears to impose on one's clinical judgment. However, a
Hedges TR. Clinical Decisions in Neuro-Ophthalmology. Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(6):775-776. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050060035015