Rapid growth of an intracranial aneurysm causing apparent retrobulbar optic neuritis

Neil R. Miller, Peter J. Savino, Timothy Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe a 31-year-old man who developed sudden painful loss of vision in the right eye and was found to have a retrobulbar optic neuropathy. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging gave normal results, and a diagnosis of retrobulbar optic neuritis was made. The patient was treated with oral prednisone, but he continued to lose vision in the right eye and then began to lose vision in the left eye. Repeat MR imaging performed eight weeks after the initial study showed a giant intracranial aneurysm compressing the right and left optic nerves. Cerebral angiography revealed that the aneurysm arose from the origin of the right ophthalmic artery. Treatment of the aneurysm by a trapping procedure resulted in improvement in vision in the left eye but no change in vision in the right eye. This report emphasizes the difficulty in imaging intracranial aneurysms of various sizes, the rapidity with which intracranial aneurysms can enlarge, and the importance of continued follow-up examinations in patients thought to have idiopathic optic neuritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuro-Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995


  • Acute optic neuropathy
  • Aneurysm
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Optic neuritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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