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February 1980

Nonglaucomatous Cavernous Degeneration of the Optic Nerve: Report of Two Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Brownstein and Murphy) and Pathology (Dr Brownstein), McGill University and the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, and the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC (Drs Font and Zimmerman).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1980;98(2):354-358. doi:10.1001/archopht.1980.01020030350025

• The globes from two elderly women who underwent enucleation for malignant melanoma of the choroid showed cavernous degeneration of the optic nerve. Both individuals had prominent optic cups and a strong family history of severe cardiovascular disease; one patient also had mild anemia and substantial arteriosclerotic heart disease. Neither patient showed any clinical or histologic evidence of glaucoma. It is proposed that cavernous degeneration of the optic nerves in some patients may represent an aging change associated with generalized arteriosclerosis. Individuals with large optic cups may be more at risk of developing this condition.

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