International Ophthalmology

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 853–860 | Cite as

Early isolated optic neuropathy caused by cyclosporine

  • Karin Mimouni
  • Moshe Lusky
  • Michal Kramer
  • Michael Gdalevich
  • Dov Weinberger
  • Michael MimouniEmail author
Original Paper



To examine, for the first time, whether cyclosporine intake has an early isolated effect on the optic nerve.

Materials and methods

This observational case series consisted of 192 eyes of 98 patients treated with cyclosporine. Patient age and duration and dosage of cyclosporine were recorded, and visual acuity, optic nerve function, visual fields, and visual evoked potential (VEP) were tested. Fundus examination was also performed. Patients with glaucoma, vascular retinopathies, and deep amblyopia were excluded.


Mean patient age was 46 years, average duration of treatment was 6 years, and median dosage of cyclosporine was 200 mg daily. VEP was tested in 73 patients (142 eyes) and yielded a delayed P100 wave in 9 (12.32%) (14 eyes). Among these 9 patients, abnormal findings were also noted on the Ishihara colour test in 42.86% of the eyes, and on the visual field test in 64.3% of the eyes. Abnormal VEP showed a significant correlation (p < 0.05) with older age (> 46 years) and a non-significant correlation with longer duration of treatment. Higher abnormal VEP potential was not correlated with higher cyclosporine dose, and there was no correlation between abnormal VEP and blood level of cyclosporine.


Optic neuropathy was significantly associated with older age in cyclosporine-treated patients. A correlation between optic neuropathy with longer duration of cyclosporine treatment was noted but was not statistically significant. We suggest that tests of optic nerve function, including VEP, be a part of the follow-up of patients receiving cyclosporine.


Systemic Cyclosporine Optic neuropathy VEP 



We would like to dedicate this paper to Dr. Lea Averbuch-Heller (1958–2000) who mentored us regarding the possible relationship between systemic cyclosporine treatment and optic neuropathy early in our careers.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge, or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (place name of institute/committee) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyRabin Medical CenterPetah TiqvaIsrael
  2. 2.Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.The District Health OfficeBarzilai Medical CenterAshkelonIsrael
  4. 4.Department of OphthalmologyRambam Health Care Campus Affiliated with the Technion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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