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Perioperative visual loss in ocular and nonocular surgery

Authors Kathleen T Berg, Andrew R Harrison, Michael S Lee

Published 9 June 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 531—546

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S9262

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Kathleen T Berg, Andrew R Harrison, Michael S Lee

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Abstract: Incidence estimates for perioperative vision loss (POVL) after nonocular surgery range from 0.013% for all surgeries up to 0.2% following spine surgery. The most common neuro-ophthalmologic causes of POVL are the ischemic optic neuropathies (ION), either anterior (AION) or posterior (PION). We identified 111 case reports of AION following nonocular surgery in the literature, with most occurring after cardiac surgery, and 165 case reports of PION following nonocular surgery, with most occurring after spine surgery or radical neck dissection. There were an additional 526 cases of ION that did not specify if the diagnosis was AION or PION. We also identified 933 case reports of central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), 33 cases of pituitary apoplexy, and 245 cases of cortical blindness following nonocular surgery. The incidence of POVL following ocular surgery appears to be much lower than that seen following nonocular surgery. We identified five cases in the literature of direct optic nerve trauma, 47 cases of AION, and five cases of PION following ocular surgery. The specific pathogenesis and risk factors underlying these neuro-ophthalmic complications remain unknown, and physicians should be alert to the potential for loss of vision in the postoperative period.
Keywords: perioperative, postoperative, vision loss, ocular surgery, nonocular surgery

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