optic neuropathy, ischaemicmedical dictionary

A severely blinding disease resulting from loss of the arterial blood supply to the optic nerve as a result of occlusive disorders of the nutrient arteries. Optic neuropathy is divided into anterior, which causes a pale oedema of the optic disk, and posterior, in which the optic disk is not swollen and the abnormality occurs between the globe and the optic chiasm. Ischaemic anterior optic neuropathy usually causes a loss of vision that may be sudden or occur over several days; ischaemic posterior optic neuropathy is uncommon and the diagnosis depends largely upon exclusion of other causes, chiefly stroke and brain tumour.

American spelling: optic neuropathy, ischemic

(12 Dec 1998)