This article reviews the anatomy, symptoms, examination findings, and causes of diseases affecting the optic chiasm, optic tracts, optic radiations, and occipital lobes.
Modern ophthalmic imaging can be used to monitor the effects of diseases of the optic chiasm and tract on the retinal ganglion cells. It can also be used to visualize transsynaptic degeneration of the anterior visual pathway in the setting of acquired retrogeniculate lesions. Visual prostheses that directly stimulate the occipital lobe are a potential strategy for rehabilitation that is in active clinical trials.
Detecting and characterizing visual deficits due to optic chiasm and retrochiasmal disease are important for the diagnosis, localization, and monitoring of neurologic disease; identifying patient disability; and guiding rehabilitation.