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Oman J Ophthalmol. 2014 May;7(2):72-4. doi: 10.4103/0974-620X.137154.

Bilateral simultaneous nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy in a patient with alcoholic liver disease.

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Department of Neuro-Ophthalmology, Sankara Nethralaya, Medical Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


A 53-year-old man with a history of alcoholism since 10 years admitted for jaundice elsewhere developed bilateral simultaneous decrease in vision in both the eyes 4 days after admission. His best-corrected visual acuity was 20/20 in both eyes. Visual field evaluation revealed an inferior altitudinal defect in both the eyes. Optic disc appearance, visual fields, and optical coherence tomography of discs were suggestive of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) in both the eyes. Liver function tests revealed elevated serum bilirubin and hepatic enzymes. He was negative for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Abdominal ultrasound revealed no focal hepatic lesion, and carotid doppler revealed no arteriosclerosis. A diagnosis of bilateral ischemic optic neuropathy associated with alcoholic hepatitis was made. Bilateral simultaneous NAION has been previously reported in perioperative visual loss, HCV infection, and interferon treatment. This is the first case report of bilateral simultaneous NAION in alcoholic hepatitis in the absence of associated infective viral hepatitis. We explore the pathophysiology of ischemic optic neuropathy in liver disease. An early intervention to correct the risk factors leading to NAION may help in preventing this vision-threatening complication in patients with chronic liver disease.


Alcoholic hepatitis; inferior altitudinal defect; ischemic optic neuropathy

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