Eye
Orbit and optic nerve
Schnabel cavernous degeneration of optic nerve


Topic Completed: 1 February 2014

Revised: 4 April 2019

Copyright: 2004-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Schnabel cavernous degeneration of optic nerve

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 227
Page views in 2019 to date: 209
Cite this page: Pernick N. Orbit and optic nerve: Schnabel cavernous degeneration of optic nerve. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeorbitschnabel.html. Accessed October 16th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Defined as formation of cavernous spaces in retrolaminar portion of proximal optic nerve due to focal loss of myelin and axons and accumulation of hyaluronic acid
  • Present in < 0.1% of eyes at autopsy; 80% are women, mean age 88 years (range 54 - 103 years)
  • Associated with severe vascular anomalies (75%), glaucoma (24%)
  • Grading of cavernous degeneration: I - clearly present but < 10% of diameter of optic nerve at point of most severe involvement; II - 10 - 25%; III - 50 - 75%; IV - > 75%
  • References: Arch Pathol Lab Med 2003;127:1314, Klin Monbl Augenheilkd 1990;197:162
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image

Fig 1: Schnabel cavernous degeneration
Fig 2: loss of axons, leading to widened pial septa and mucopolysaccharide accumulation
Fig 3: grade III cavernous degeneration involving 50 - 75% of diameter of optic nerve
Fig 4: grade IV cavernous degeneration involvement > 75% of diameter of optic nerve

Back to top