Optic disc swelling in Crohn's disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: To provide a review of the causes of optic disc swelling in patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: Two illustrative cases of bilateral optic disc swelling are presented: one in a patient known to have Crohn's disease and the other in a patient whose investigations revealed the disease. The possible causes of optic disc swelling in inflammatory bowel disease, based on a literature review, are tabulated and discussed with reference to the presented cases. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: Optic disc swelling is a rare complication of inflammatory bowel disease. Previously reported cases have been attributed to peripapillary inflammation, optic disc ischaemia or intracranial hypertension. Postulated causes of optic nerve ischaemia include a local vasculitis or general hypercoagulability. The underlying aetiology of intracranial hypertension is often elusive. Older studies suggest a relationship between corticosteroid treatment and/or iron deficiency anaemia, while modern imaging emphasises the need to exclude dural venous sinus thrombosis.

published proceedings

  • Aust N Z J Ophthalmol

author list (cited authors)

  • Walker, J. C., Selva, D., Pietris, G., & Crompton, J. L.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Walker, JC||Selva, D||Pietris, G||Crompton, JL

publication date

  • November 1998