The Swollen Optic Disc in Childhood

  • Michael C. Brodsky
  • Robert S. Baker
  • Latif M. Hamed


“Optic disc elevation” is a reason for neuro-ophthalmologic referral common in children. The nature of the underlying disorder can often be predicted from the wording of the referring physician’s telephone call. Bilateral optic disc elevation without visual loss in a child with headaches, nausea, and vomiting of several months duration creates a high index of suspicion for papilledema (i.e., swelling of the optic discs secondary to elevated intracranial pressure). Blurring of the nasal disc margins which is noted as an incidental finding in an otherwise healthy child is usually found to be pseudopapilledema (i.e., real or apparent elevation of the optic discs due to local structural factors, which simulates swelling of the discs). Optic disc swelling in the setting of acute visual loss usually signifies optic neuritis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael C. Brodsky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert S. Baker
    • 3
  • Latif M. Hamed
    • 4
  1. 1.Jones Eye InstituteUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  2. 2.Arkansas Children’sHospital Little RockUSA
  3. 3.University of Kentucky Medical CenterLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.Section of Pediatric OphtalmologyUniversity of Florida College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA

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