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Research Letter
Aug 2012

Recovery of Vision From No Light Perception in Giant Cell Arteritis

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Neurology (Dr Thurtell) and Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (Drs Thurtell and Kardon) and Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Drs Thurtell and Kardon), University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(8):1080-1082. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2012.308

Up to 50% of patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA) have visual symptoms early in the disease course, in most cases due to anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION).1 The vision loss from AION in GCA is often devastating, with the initial visual acuity being 20/200 or worse in more than 50% of patients.1,2 There is often, but not always, pallid optic disc edema and there is rarely a significant recovery, even with timely initiation of corticosteroids.2-6 We describe a patient with biopsy-proven GCA who had severe vision loss due to AION but had almost complete recovery of vision over subsequent weeks.