Accelerated visual recovery from protracted hypoxic cortical blindness in a child

Sasha Mansukhani, Mai Lan Ho, Elizabeth A. Bradley, Michael C. Brodsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This report describes accelerated visual recovery in a child following protracted hypoxic cortical visual loss and reviews mechanisms responsible for visual recovery. Observations: A 12-year-old boy developed cortical blindness after a severe snowboarding crash. Magnetic resonance imaging showed severe multifocal hypoxic brain injury, with multifocal restricted diffusion and extensive T2/FLAIR hyperintensities throughout the visual cortex, basal ganglia and midbrain. The mismatch of affected areas on FLAIR and DWI sequences indicated a combination of cytotoxic and vasogenic edema, which suggested partial reversibility with potential for recovery. Two weeks after his injury, he began to experience an accelerated improvement in vision with recovery of 20/20 visual acuity and 40 sec/arc stereoacuity over the following week. Three months later, visual field examination showed a steep-margined horizontal band of spared visual field, which showed further expansion on repeat testing 1 year later. Conclusions and importance: Protracted hypoxic cortical visual loss can be followed by dramatic visual recovery in children. Magnetic resonance imaging can provide useful prognostic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100534
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Cortical blindness
  • Hypoxic brain injury
  • Visual recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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