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Chronic Optic Disc Edema

Chronic optic disc edema

This optic disc is elevated and its surface is turning white. The edema tells us that axoplasmic flow is backed up in some axons. The pallor tells us that other axons have died—from the effects of axoplasmic stasis!

Patients with this sign have constricted visual fields. The usual cause is chronic elevated intracranial pressure. At this stage, vision may not improve even if the pressure is relieved and the optic disc edema disappears. The disc will then be flat but pale.

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