The clinical picture of tobacco amblyopia has been known for many years. In 1896, de Schweinitz1 published a comprehensive and scholarly monograph on all types of toxic amblyopia. The discussion of the tobacco-alcohol group occupies almost one half of the volume and includes references to nearly two hundred original articles.
Samelsohn, Nettleship and Edmunds, Vossius, Bunge and Uhthoff had demonstrated earlier a degeneration of the papillomacular bundle as the chief lesion in cases of tobacco-alcohol amblyopia. Among the various theories offered as the cause of this degeneration were the following:2
That it was due to primary interstitial inflammation of the optic nerve.
That it was due to primary involvement of the nervous elements of the nerve and retina, with secondary glial proliferation and increase in connective tissue.
That it was due to retrobulbar neuritis.
That it was secondary to a lesion in the
DUGGAN WF. VASCULAR BASIS OF TOBACCO AMBLYOPIA: TREATMENT WITH NITROSCLERAN. Arch Ophthalmol. 1935;13(6):1059–1079. doi:10.1001/archopht.1935.00840060141016
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