Treatment outcomes following traumatic optic neuropathy

Michael Sosin, Carla De La Cruz, Gerhard S. Mundinger, Sean Y. Saadat, Arthur J. Nam, Paul N. Manson, Michael R. Christy, Branko Bojovic, Eduardo D. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Traumatic optic neuropathy is characterized by sudden loss of vision following facial trauma leading to variable visual deficits. The purpose of this study was to evaluate recent institutional trends in the treatment of traumatic optic neuropathy, evaluate the outcomes of different treatment strategies, and identify factors associated with improved vision. Methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained to retrospectively review patients diagnosed with traumatic optic neuropathy at a high-volume trauma center from 2004 to 2012. Pretreatment and posttreatment visual acuity was compared using quantitative analysis of standard ophthalmologic conversion. Results: A total of 109 patients met inclusion criteria (74.3 percent male patients), with a mean age of 38.0 ± 17.5 years (range, 8 to 82 years). Management of traumatic optic neuropathy involved intravenous corticosteroids alone in 8.3 percent of patients (n = 9), 56.9 percent (n = 62) underwent observation, 28.4 percent (n = 31) had surgical intervention, and 6.4 percent (n = 7) underwent surgery and corticosteroid administration. Only 19.3 percent of patients returned for follow-up. Vision improved in 47.6 percent of patients, with a mean follow-up of 12.9 weeks. Patients younger than 50 years had a trend toward higher rates of visual improvement, 60 percent versus 16.7 percent (p = 0.15). Conclusions: The majority of traumatic optic neuropathy patients are unlikely to return for a follow-up examination. Optic nerve decompression has fallen out of favor in the authors' institution, and observation is the most common management strategy. Outcomes following corticosteroid administration and observation are comparable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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