Updates on ophthalmic imaging features of optic disc drusen, papilledema, and optic disc edema. Yan & Liao. Current Opinion in Neurology

Updates on ophthalmic imaging features of optic disc drusen, papilledema, and optic disc edema.

Yan Y, Liao YJ.Curr Opin Neurol. 2021 Feb 1;34(1):108-115. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000881.

Purpose of review

Optic nerve head elevation can be associated with vision loss. This review provides an update regarding key features of optic disc drusen (ODD) compared with papilledema from increased intracranial pressure and optic disc edema from other causes.

Recent findings

Clinical history and funduscopic examination are not sufficient to correctly diagnose different causes of optic nerve head elevation. Multimodal ophthalmic imaging is noninvasive and should be used as first-line diagnostic testing to distinguish optic disc edema or papilledema from pseudoedema. Advanced ophthalmic imaging, including enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography (EDI-OCT) and autofluorescence imaging, can visualize ODD at high resolution and determine whether there is optic disc edema. OCT angiography does not require contrast and can rapidly visualize papillary, peripapillary, and macular microvasculature and identify important vascular biomarker of ischemia and, potentially, visual prognosis.


Multimodal ophthalmic imaging can help in the diagnosis of ODD and optic disc edema and identify patients at high risk of vision loss and neurological issues in order to ensure appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

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