Etiology and pathogenetic mechanisms of optic disc swelling with visual loss. An interdisciplinary prospective pilot study of 102 cases.
A nonrandomized, prospective, interdisciplinary pilot study of 102 patients with noncompressive optic disc swelling with visual loss (ODSWVL) was performed in order to investigate etiologic and pathogenetic mechanisms. Forty-six patients suffered from underlying inflammatory disease. Seventeen patients suffered from highly probable cardiogenic embolization, 16 patients from multiple vascular risk factors. The remaining patients of the noninflammatory disease group suffered from leukemia, previously unknown or severely decompensated diabetes mellitus, acute arterial hypertension, different kinds of coagulopathies and others. Ninety-six of the 102 patients required medical treatment according to general medical standards. Inhomogeneity of the underlying disease processes explains the ineffectiveness of different monotherapies in previous studies. Interdisciplinary search for the underlying causes allows causative treatment. ODSWVL and anterior ischemic optic neuropathy in particular seem to be a common final pathway of various pathogenetic mechanisms due to different etiologies rather than a disease entity by itself.
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