J Korean Ophthalmol Soc.  1999 Apr;40(4):1078-1083.

The Etiology of Optic Neuropathy

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul Municipal Boramae Hospital.


In order to investigate causative mechanisms of optic neuropathy, retrospective clinical studies including ophthalmologic examination, imaging study, and molecular biologic analyses were performed on 322 patients with optic neuropathy. The causes include hereditary optic neuropathy(71 patients, 22.1%), optic neuritis(66 patients, 20.5%), traumatic optic neuropathy(40 patients, 12.5%), ischemic optic neuropathy(35 patients, 10.9%), compressive optic neuropathy(31 patients, 9.6%), toxic optic neuropathy(23 patients, 7.1%), etc. In 29 patients of bilateral optic atrophy and 18 patients of unilateral optic atrophy, the causative mechanism was not clear. In conclusion, hereditary optic neuropathy was the most common causative mechanism of optic neuropathy in this study. The importance of meticulous history taking and molecular biologic test should be stressed in differential diagnosis of optic neuropathy.


Causative mechanisms; Hereditary optic neuropathy; Optic neuritis; Optic neuropathy; Traumatic optic neuropathy

MeSH Terms

Diagnosis, Differential
Optic Atrophy
Optic Nerve Diseases*
Optic Nerve Injuries
Optic Neuritis
Retrospective Studies
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