Objective: To demonstrate the development of subfoveal fluid associated with optic disc swelling from nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Methods: Optical coherence tomographic studies obtained during a 3-year period (October 1, 2003, to December 30, 2006) from 76 patients who developed ischemic optic neuropathy from 2 institutions were evaluated. The presence or absence, and the distribution, of subretinal fluid was determined. Results: Seventy-six patients underwent macular optical coherence tomography within 4 weeks of developing sudden loss of vision in one eye, decreased visual acuity, a visual field defect, a relative afferent pupillary defect, and optic disc swelling with peripapillary hemorrhages. Eight patients had apparent subretinal fluid extending into the subfoveal space. Visual acuity improved in 5 of the 8 patients as the subfoveal fluid resolved. Conclusions: Subretinal fluid develops in some patients with nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy and may contribute to some of the visual loss associated with this condition. Furthermore, resolution of the subretinal fluid could account for some of the visual improvement that can follow anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.
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