Bilateral posterior ischemic optic neuropathy after spinal surgery

George Alexandrakis, Byron L. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To report the association between bilateral posterior ischemic optic neuropathy and spinal surgery. METHOD: Case report. RESULTS: After prone-position spinal surgery of 8 hours' duration, a 68-year-old woman was completely blind in both eyes. Moderate periorbital edema and temporal conjunctival chemosis were present bilaterally. Ophthalmic examination disclosed normal-appearing optic nerve heads, except for bilateral nasal fullness related to bilateral optic nerve drusen, and no retinal edema. Immediate cerebral arteriography, magnetic resonance imaging, and electroretinography were normal. Visual-evoked response was not detectable, and 7 weeks later, severe bilateral optic nerve head pallor developed. CONCLUSIONS: Severe selective hypoperfusion of the retrobulbar optic nerves may occur after spinal surgery. Pressure to the periorbital region may be a contributing factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-355
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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