Bilateral anterior ischemic optic neuropathy following influenza vaccination

Aki Kawasaki, Valerie A. Purvin, Rosa Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Optic neuritis is an occasional complication of vaccination. Visual loss can be unilateral or bilateral, and most patients recover substantially without treatment. The presumptive mechanism is an immune-mediated demyelinating injury of the optic nerve. We report two patients who had permanent visual loss following influenza vaccination. Their pattern of visual loss, segmental optic disc changes, and failure of visual recovery were atypical for demyelinating optic neuritis and reminiscent of a primary ischemic injury to the optic nerve. We speculate that an immune complex-mediated vasculopathy following vaccination can cause anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Clinicians should be aware of this entity because of the less favorable prognosis for visual recovery in these cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neuro-Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Optic neuritis
  • Optic neuropathy
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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