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November 1965

Tobacco-Alcohol Amblyopia: Further Comments on Its Pathology

Author Affiliations

Cleveland; Boston
From the Division of Neurology, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, and the Neurology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;74(5):649-657. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970040651011

In the course of our studies of nutritional disorders of the nervous system in a large number of patients with chronic alcoholism, our attention has repeatedly been drawn to a characteristic visual disorder, generally referred to as tobacco-alcohol amblyopia. In 1960, we described in detail the clinical manifestations of this syndrome in 14 patients and the pathological findings in one of them.1 Unfortunately, our account of the pathological findings in that case failed to include the retina, which was unavailable for study. Recently we have had an opportunity to study the retinal pathology of a patient with tobacco-alcohol amblyopia. The medical literature contains very few such cases and virtually none in which modern histological techniques have been used. For this reason, and also because the pathological changes in other parts of the visual pathway proved to be of unusual interest, this case is being presented in some detail.


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