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August 1963

Retinal Ganglion Cell Degeneration Following Chiasmal Lesions in Man

Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;70(2):256-260. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960050258020

Introduction  Although sectioning of the optic nerve close to the eye results in chromatolysis1 and eventual degeneration2,3 of the retinal ganglion cell, interruption of the optic nerve fibers farther from the eye at the level of the chiasm has failed to produce easily perceptible changes in the ganglion cells of rabbit, cat, and monkey.4,5 These findings have lent support to the concept that chromatolytic and degenerative changes in the retinal ganglion cell are inversely proportional to the distance of the injury from the cell body, a concept generally accepted for ganglion cells elsewhere in the central nervous system.The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that injury to optic nerve fibers as far away from the eye as the chiasm results in extensive or complete degeneration of the corresponding retinal ganglion cells. It appears that retrograde degeneration can be more easily demonstrated in the visual system