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Neuroimaging in ophthalmology in a tertiary referral centre

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Session Details

Session Title: Training and Innovation

Session Date/Time: Tuesday 10/10/2017 | 16:30-18:00

Paper Time: 17:06

Venue: Room 4.4

First Author: : S.Whitlow IRELAND

Co Author(s): :    J. O'Connor   R. Killeen                 

Abstract Details


The aim of the study was to show the prevalence and yield of various neuro-ophthalmology related diseases, which are seen in a tertiary referral centre. We also wanted to compare this to other specialities rates, such as Neurology.


Retrospective study on neuro-ophthalmology imaging for patients who had a visual disturbance or there was a clinical suspicion of pathology, which were completed between March 2015 and March 2016. The list of requested scans was acquired from the NIMIS PAC (picture archiving and communication) system in the hospital.


There was 187 Magnetic Resonance scans requested from the tertiary centre in this 12-month period. The inclusion criteria for our study were: patients had to be at least 18 years of age, it was their first episode of visual disturbance, the patient’s pathology was unknown, and there was no previous imaging for the visual disturbance. Applying these criteria, 187 consecutive scans were requested during this 12-month period. 135 patients fulfilled the criteria while 52 patients did not fulfil the criteria. All the images were reported on by a neuro-radiologist or a radiologist who specialised in ophthalmology.


64% of the MRI scans which met the inclusion criteria were abnormal. Of the 135 patients who met the criteria 71 had a pathology, 15 have small vessel disease/age related changes and 49 scans had no pathology reported by the neuro radiologists. Demyelination and Optic neuropathy accounted for 30% of the pathologies found on the MRI scans during this 12-month period. There are various other results shown including optic nerve gliomas, various cysts, pituitary enlargement. Non-specific white matter changes accounted for 33% of pathologies found.


We obtained a high yield of pathologies in ophthalmology patients who had previously no documented brain abnormalities. Brain imaging is extremely valuable in assisting ophthalmologists in diagnosing patients swiftly and accurately. It is importance to maintain a low index of suspicion when considering to request an MRI scan.

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