Traumatic optic neuropathy management: A Survey assessment of current practice patterns

Colin Bacorn, Megan Morisada, Raj Dedhia, Toby Steele, Edward Strong, Lily Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: The treatment of traumatic optic neuropathy (TON) is highly controversial with a lack of substantiated evidence to support the use of corticosteroids or surgical decompression of the optic nerve. The aim of the study was to determine if there was a general consensus in the management of TON despite controversy in the literature. Methods: An anonymous survey of members of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society regarding their practice patterns in the management of patients with TON was performed. Results: The majority of 165 respondents indicated that they treated TON with corticosteroids (60%) while a significant minority (23%) performed surgical interventions (P < 0.0001). Subgroup analysis comparing rates of treatment with steroids among oculoplastic surgeons and neuro-ophthalmologists (67% vs. 47%) was not significant (Fisher's Exact test [FET], P =0.11) while results did suggest that a higher proportion of oculoplastic surgeons (33%) than neuro-ophthalmologists (11%) recommended surgical intervention (FET, P =0.004). In cases where visual acuity exhibited a downward trend treatment with steroids was the most commonly employed management. In general, neuro-ophthalmologists trended toward observation over treatment in TON patients with stable visual acuity while oculoplastic surgeons favored treatment with corticosteroids. Conclusions: In spite of the lack of class I evidence supporting intervention of TON, the majority of respondents were inclined to offer corticosteroid treatment to patients whose visual acuity showed progressive decline following injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Blindness
  • corticosteroids
  • surgical decompression
  • traumatic optic neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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