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Arch Ophthalmol. 1977 Sep;95(9):1553-65.

Optic disc edema in raised intracranial pressure. V. Pathogenesis.


The pathogenesis of optic disc edema (ODE) in raised intracranial pressure is discussed in the light of recent observations on the subject. The findings indicate that ODE is a mechanical phenomenon. The raised cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFP) in the sheath of the optic nerve produces axoplasmic flow stasis in the optic nerve head. This results in swelling of the axons, which manifests as early ODE and secondarily produces the well-known optic disc and retinal vascular changes associated with ODE. The pathogenesis of ODE seen in different conditions without raised CSFP cannot be explained by any single mechanism in spite of the occurrence of axoplasmic flow stasis in most cases, because the stasis in different situations has different mechanisms.

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