Drug Discov Ther. 2017;11(4):226-229. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2017.01034)

Visual field improvement in non-arteritic posterior ischemic optic neuropathy in a patient treated with intravenous prostaglandin E1 and steroids.

Steigerwalt RD Jr., Limoli PG, Nebbioso M


Non-arteritic posterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NA-PION) is a disorder of reduced blood flow to the retrobulbar optic nerve. There is usually an acute loss of visual acuity and field. Previous studies have noted an improvement in visual acuity and in ocular and retrobulbar blood flow with the use of a potent vasodilator of the microcirculation, prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), and steroids. The current report describes immediate improvement in the visual fields and visual acuity in a patient with NA-PION treated with intravenous PGE1 and steroids 66 hours after onset. An 89-year-old white female was first seen in December 2016 with a sudden loss of vision in the right eye. After a complete eye exam and visual fields, the patient was diagnosed with NA-PION. Treatment was immediately started with steroids and intravenous PGE1. This was repeated once again the next morning. Visual acuity in the right eye improved from 1/10 + 1 to 7/10 + 3 at 5 days. The mean deviation of the visual field improved from – 7.10 decibels (dB) with a central scotoma of – 22 dB to – 2.97 dB with a central scotoma of – 19 dB. After 2 weeks, her visual acuity was 7/10 + 1 and visual field testing of the right eye revealed a mean deviation of – 2.54 dB with a central scotoma of – 9 dB. The left eye was unchanged. In cases of NA-PION, PGE1 and steroids should be considered to immediately restore blood flow to help improve visual acuity and visual fields.

KEYWORDS: Non-arteritic posterior ischemic optic neuropathy, prostaglandin E1, visual field, central scotoma

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