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November 1997

Does Optic Disc Appearance Distinguish Ischemic Optic Neuropathy From Optic Neuritis?

Author Affiliations

From the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City (Dr Warner); Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Drs Lessell and Rizzo); and Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Newman).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1997;115(11):1408-1410. doi:10.1001/archopht.1997.01100160578009

Objective:  To determine whether characteristics of optic nerve swelling assist in distinguishing between optic neuritis and anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.

Method:  Optic nerve stereophotograph review by masked observers.

Results:  Altitudinal swelling, pallor, arterial attenuation, and hemorrhage are found more commonly in anterior ischemic optic neuropathy than in optic neuritis.

Conclusion:  Optic disc appearance does help to distinguish anterior ischemic optic neuropathy from optic neuritis, although there are overlapping features.