Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Optic nerve appearance as a predictor of visual outcome in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension


Background/aims It remains unclear whether the presence of optic disc haemorrhages (ODH) or cotton wool spots (CWS) at presentation in patients with papilloedema from idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) has prognostic value. The aim of this study was to determine if optic disc appearance at presentation predicts visual outcome in patients with IIH.

Methods Retrospective study of 708 eyes of 360 consecutive patients with IIH who had baseline optic disc photographs before or within 30 days of their diagnostic lumbar puncture and initiation of medical treatment. Optic disc photographs were independently graded by three ophthalmologists in a standardised manner. Visual function was assessed using Snellen converted to logMAR visual acuity, Humphrey mean deviation and visual field grade.

Results At least one ODH was found in 201 (28.4%) eyes, at least one CWS was found in 101 (14.3%) eyes and 88 eyes had both ODH and CWS (12.4%). At presentation, Frisén grade was associated with the presence and severity of ODH and CWS (p<0.001). ODH were associated with a worse visual acuity and CWS were associated with a worse visual field grade and mean deviation at presentation (p<0.05). Frisén grade was associated with worse visual function at presentation and final follow-up (p<0.001). Neither ODH nor CWS at presentation were associated with visual function at final follow-up when controlling for the Frisén grade.

Conclusions and relevance ODH and CWS at baseline are not independent predictors of final visual function in IIH when controlling for the severity of papilloedema.

  • optic nerve

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • At a glance
    Keith Barton Jost B Jonas James Chodosh