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Coffee and doughnut maculopathy: a cause of acute central ring scotomas
  1. John B Kerrisona,
  2. Stephen C Pollockd,
  3. Valerie Bioussea,b,
  4. Nancy J Newmana,b,c
  1. aDepartment of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, bDepartment of Neurology, cDepartment of Neurological Surgery, dDepartment of Ophthalmology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Nancy J Newman, MD, Neuro-ophthalmology Unit, Emory Eye Center, 1365-B Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA


AIMS To report the clinical features of five patients with non-progressive central ring scotomas of acute onset associated with excellent retained visual acuity.

METHODS Complete neuro-ophthalmological examinations were performed. Visual fields were performed by tangent screen, Goldmann, or Humphrey perimetry. In some cases further testing was carried out including fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, ERG, VEP, and neuroimaging.

RESULTS The patients were three women and two men whose ages ranged from 25 to 57 years. Four patients were heavy caffeine consumers while the fifth patient experienced an episode of hypotension. Vision loss was acute in all cases. The onset of vision loss was bilateral/simultaneous in three cases, bilateral/sequential in one case, and unilateral in one case. All affected eyes retained visual acuities of 20/25 or better. Colour vision was subnormal in three of four cases. Visual field defects were characterised by a central ring scotoma having an outer diameter less than 10 degrees. Fundus examination demonstrated temporal optic nerve pallor in three patients (five of 10 affected eyes) and reddish, petaloid macular lesions in one patient. Good visual acuity was maintained for the duration of follow up in all five patients.

CONCLUSION Central ring scotomas with excellent retained visual acuity may present as an acute, bilateral syndrome in patients who are heavy caffeine consumers. The configuration of visual field loss and its location, combined with the presence of temporal pallor in five eyes, suggest that the defect localises to the inner layers of the macula. While these cases could be considered an expansion of the clinical spectrum of acute macular neuroretinopathy, some may represent a distinct entity.

  • ring scotoma
  • visual field
  • perimetry
  • maculopathy
  • neuroretinopathy

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