Optic atrophy in infancy and childhood

Chapter 106 Optic atrophy in infancy and childhood


In childhood, optic nerve disorders occur in three main periods:

Therefore, optic atrophy may occur after damage in the later prenatal, perinatal, or postnatal periods in children. Small children with optic atrophy do not have a pathognomonic mode of presentation connected with the optic atrophy itself. They present with either general behavioral characteristics of visual loss with or without nystagmus or because of other associated symptoms such as pain, headache, or neurologic symptoms.

Causes (Fig. 106.3)

It is not possible to establish a cause in every case; the cause varies enormously between centers. A tertiary referral center sees cases referred to their neurology, neurosurgery, or metabolic departments2 while developmental centers see mainly cases associated with cerebral palsy. Prevalence is difficult to establish.

If there is a history of pre- or perinatal problems, they may well be the cause, especially if there is a history of significant hypoxia. One should be cautious about attributing optic atrophy to a mild perinatal insult. It is rare for optic atrophy caused by perinatal problems to be unassociated with other, significant central nervous system damage.

Jun 4, 2016 | Posted by in OPHTHALMOLOGY | Comments Off on Optic atrophy in infancy and childhood

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