PURPOSE: We evaluated the effect of optic disk edema on spontaneous venous pulsations (SVP) in patients without elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). DESIGN: Prospective, cross-sectional comparison in an institutional setting. METHODS: Twenty consecutive patients with unilateral optic disk edema due to anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION, n = 11) or optic neuritis (n = 9) were evaluated. The proportion of subjects with SVP in both eyes, the involved eye only, the uninvolved eye only, or neither eye was determined. Comparisons were made using the Exact McNemar Test. RESULTS: There was a significant difference in the proportion of uninvolved and involved eyes with SVP (60% [12/20] vs 5% [1/20], P < .005). Spontaneous venous pulsations were present in the uninvolved eye of 12 patients and the nonedematous portion of the optic disk in 1 patient with segmental edema from AION. CONCLUSIONS: Optic disk edema may cause SVP cessation without ICP elevation.
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