To report the occurrence of anterior ischemic optic neuropathy as a complication of treatment with interferon alfa and to consider the possible underlying mechanisms for this association.
Description of the clinical findings in two patients with this condition.
A neuro-ophthalmology referral center.
Two patients, ages 40 and 51 years, undergoing treatment with interferon alfa for malignant neoplasms experienced sudden bilateral, sequential visual loss with disc-related field defects and segmental optic disc edema.
Treatment with aspirin and prednisone in one patient.
Main Outcome Measures:
Visual acuity, color vision, Goldmann perimetry testing, and fundus photography.
Visual loss was mild and generally nonprogressive. The interval between initiating treatment with interferon alfa and onset of anterior ischemic optic neuropathy was similar to that of interferon-associated vascular retinopathy.
Anterior ischemic optic neuropathy may complicate treatment with interferon alfa. The underlying pathogenesis is probably multifactorial.