Blindness after bilateral radical neck dissection is a rare complication. A recent patient, who suffered total blindness after simultaneous bilateral radical neck dissection, is the fifth case reported. It is, however, the first with pathological study of the optic tracts. Detailed microscopic examination revealed bilateral intraorbital hemorrhagic optic nerve infarction without evidence of embolization or ophthalmic artery occlusion. The probable etiology of this event is an episode of prolonged hypotension. An additional etiologic factor may be increased resistance to blood flow caused by venous hypertension, resulting from bilateral internal jugular vein ligation.
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