Bilateral Simultaneous Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy: Demographics, Risk Factors, and Visual Outcomes

Jennifer E. Chung, Janani Singaravelu, Bradley S. Wilson, Annah P. Baykal, Michael S. Lee, Collin M. McClelland, John J. Chen, M. Tariq Bhatti, Andrew T. Melson, Gregory P. Van Stavern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Although nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy is a well-known cause of vision loss, it typically presents unilaterally. Simultaneous, bilateral nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (sNAION) is rare and poorly studied in comparison. This study seeks to characterize the clinical features and risk factors of patients with sNAION compared with unilateral NAION (uNAION).Methods:In this retrospective case-control study, we reviewed 76 eyes (38 patients) with sNAION and 38 eyes (38 patients) with uNAION (controls) from 4 academic institutions examined between 2009 and 2020. Demographic information, medical history, medication use, symptom course, paraclinical evaluation, and visual outcomes were collected for all patients.Results:No significant differences were observed in demographics, comorbidities and their treatments, and medication usage between sNAION and uNAION patients. sNAION patients were more likely to undergo an investigative work-up with erythrocyte sedimentation rate measurement (P = 0.0061), temporal artery biopsy (P = 0.013), lumbar puncture (P = 0.013), and MRI (P < 0.0001). There were no significant differences between the 2 groups for visual acuity, mean visual field deviation, peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, or ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer thickness at presentation, nor at final visit for those with ≥3 months of follow-up. The sNAION eyes with ≥3 months of follow-up had a smaller cup-to-disc ratio (CDR) at final visit (P = 0.033). Ten patients presented with incipient NAION, of which 9 suffered vision loss by final visit.Conclusion:Aside from CDR differences, the risk factor profile and visual outcomes of sNAION patients seem similar to those of uNAION patients, suggesting similar pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-90
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuro-Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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