The Charles Bonnet Syndrome: a Systematic Review of Diagnostic Criteria

  • Ali G. HamedaniEmail author
  • Victoria S. Pelak
Neurologic Ophthalmology and Otology (R Shin and D Gold, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neurologic Ophthalmology and Otology



To perform a systematic review of diagnostic criteria for the Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS).

Recent findings

Across 33 studies that specified diagnostic criteria for CBS, hallucinations and vision loss were a common requirement, but there was considerable heterogeneity regarding hallucination properties (i.e., formed vs. unformed) and the severity of vision loss. The exclusion of confounding neuropsychiatric disorders was also common, but specific disorders and their method of ascertainment were variable.


There is considerable diagnostic heterogeneity for CBS in the literature. These differences have important implications for the results of observational and interventional studies of CBS and highlight the need for unified diagnostic criteria.


Charles Bonnet syndrome Release hallucinations Visual hallucinations Vision loss Diagnostic criteria Systematic review 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Ali G. Hamedani declares no potential conflicts of interest. Victoria S. Pelak reports royalties from Up-to-Date, Inc. and Elsevier.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology, The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye InstituteUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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