The optic nerve consists of retinal ganglion cell axons and glial cells.
Because the optic nerve is contiguous with the brain, many of the conditions affecting the optic nerve are similar to those that affect the central nervous system.
The optic nerve is vulnerable to disease processes extending from adjacent structures, including infections and neoplasms.
Temporal artery biopsy is considered the gold standard for diagnosis of giant cell arteritis. Because skip lesions may be present in the artery, multiple stepped sections through the biopsy specimen are used to avoid missing affected areas.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 4 - Ophthalmic Pathology and Intraocular Tumors. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.