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Occurence of Familial Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy in a Case Series

Wang Mathew Y. M.D.; Sadun, Federico M.D.; Levin, Lori B. M.P.H.; LaBree, Laurie M.S.; Feldon, Steven E. M.D.
Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology: June 1999
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To report on the occurrence of familial nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) in our NAION series.


One hundred forty-eight consecutive retrievable cases of NAION were surveyed regarding the occurrence of NAION in other family members. Medical records of affected family members were reviewed, and clinical characteristics of documented familial NAION cases were described.


Of 79 patients who returned the survey, four reported one or more relatives with previously diagnosed NAION. There were nine cases of documented NAION in these four families. All cases occurred in siblings, with a mean age at onset of 55 years, Six patients had second eye involvement and in five, involvement became bilateral within 4 years after initial onset. None of the patients had diabetes; two had hypertension.


A small number of patients with NAION may belong to a familial subclass, Three previous reports of familial NAION further support this hypothesis.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.