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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Aug;67(8):1310-1313. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1827_18.

Role of ultrasonographic optic nerve sheath diameter in the diagnosis and follow-up of papilledema and its correlation with Frisén's severity grading.

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Department of Ophthalmology, St John's Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.



The aim of this study was to compare the ultrasonographic optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) in different grades of papilledema and in controls and to evaluate ONSD in atrophic papilledema/optic atrophy when raised ICP was suspected.


Prospective cross-sectional case-control study. Following an ocular examination, papilledema was graded clinically using modified Frisén's grading. An ultrasonographic cross section of the retrobulbar optic nerve was obtained with a posterior transverse scan. Independent t-test and analysis of variance were the statistical tools used in the study.


The study included 55 cases and 55 age- and gender-matched controls; mean (± standard deviation) age was 37.17 (±11.25) years and male: female ratio was 49:61. There was a statistically significant difference in the mean ultrasonographic ONSD between cases [4.89 (±0.65) mm] and controls [3.12 (±0.22) mm] (P < 0.001). There was a significant difference in the mean ONSD across Frisén's grades of papilledema (P < 0.001). The mean ONSD in atrophic papilledema was 6.2 (±0.75) mm.


In the presence of symptoms, ultrasonographic ONSD >4 mm is diagnostic of papilledema. Ultrasonographic ONSD correlates well with the severity of papilledema and can be used to follow-up patients with chronically elevated ICP. It is useful in detecting raised ICP in the presence of optic atrophy and to distinguish true papilledema from pseudopapilledema.


Frisén's grade; optic nerve sheath diameter; papilledema; ultrasound B-scan

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