Orbit & optic nerve

Optic atrophy

Last author update: 1 February 2014
Last staff update: 28 December 2020

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PubMed Search: Optic atrophy [title] pathology

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Optic atrophy. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeorbitopticatrophy.html. Accessed September 28th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Loss of function of optic nerve with gliosis, loss of capillaries and loss of axonal tissue
  • Due to damage from within the eye (optic neuritis, papilledema, glaucoma, retina-choroid lesions), to optic nerve or brain (trauma, tumor, demyelinating disorders, hydrocephalus) or congenital (Leber optic atrophy)
Gross description
  • White, pale disc
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Loss of substance of optic nerve due to degeneration of myelin sheaths and axons
  • Dura appears redundant due to loss of substance
  • Gliosis within nerve
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