Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 3294
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

   Table of Contents      
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 325

Polycythemia vera presenting with bilateral papilledema

Department of Ophthalmology, St John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, India

Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2009

Correspondence Address:
Suneetha Nithyanandam
Department of Ophthalmology, St John's Medical College Hospital, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore - 560 034
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.53067

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Nithyanandam S. Polycythemia vera presenting with bilateral papilledema. Indian J Ophthalmol 2009;57:325

How to cite this URL:
Nithyanandam S. Polycythemia vera presenting with bilateral papilledema. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2009 [cited 2020 Jul 10];57:325. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2009/57/4/325/53067

Dear Editor,

I read with interest the brief report by Parija et al . [1] and appreciate the manner in which the case was diagnosed and treatment instituted leading to good visual recovery in one eye. In this regard, I would like to make the following comments.

The clinical presentation was suggestive of raised intracranial pressure, with the diagnostic workup pointing to cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). CVT is a relatively common presentation of polycythemia vera. [2] When we reviewed the records of 50 CVT patients treated at our hospital over a period of four years, four cases were secondary to polycythemia vera. Of these four patients three, presented with signs and symptoms similar to the reported patient. In all cases of CVT one should rule out the multiple known causes of CVT including myeloproliferative disorders like polycythtemia vera. [2] Hence, the presentation is not as rare as it has been alluded to in the report.

This report highlights the diagnosis of an uncommon hematological condition which primarily presented to an ophthalmologist. CVT is often under diagnosed even by neurologists. It should be remembered that almost 40% of CVT patients present with signs and symptoms suggestive of isolated intracranial. [3],[4] A thorough diagnostic workup including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be done before labeling a case as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), as the management and outcome of these two conditions vary significantly. With the increasing use of MRI in all cases suspected to be a brain syndrome, CVT has been increasing diagnosed. MRI is now the gold standard in the diagnosis of CVT as rightly done in this case.

Visual loss in CVT maybe due to thrombotic ischemia of any structure of the visual pathway or due to pressure on the optic nerve due to the transmitted raised intracranial pressure (ICP). All cases of CVT with visual loss require visual field analysis and measurement of optic nerve sheath diameter using B-scan ultrasonography (USG). Visual loss in patients with CVT due to transmitted raised ICP (indicated by increased optic nerve sheath diameter on USG) not amenable to medical management is an indication for optic nerve sheath decompression (ONSD). ONSD as a treatment option for the visual loss in the left eye should have been offered to the patient in this case, as it has been shown to be effective even in the presence of optic disc pallor. [4,5] Moreover, ONSD is commonly and more easily done by the medial transconjunctival approach or the lateral orbitotomy approach and not through the orbital roof as mentioned in the report. [1]

  References Top

Parija S, Mohapatra MM, Pattnaik BK. Polycythemia vera presenting with bilateral papilledema: A rare case report. Indian J Ophthalmol 2008;56:327-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Ferro JM, Canhao P, Stam J, Bousser MG, Barinagarrementeria F; ISCVT investigators. Prognosis of cerebral vein and dural sinus thrombosis: Results of the International Study on Cerebral Vein and Dural Sinus Thrombosis (ISCVT) Stroke 2004;35:664-70.  Back to cited text no. 2
Biousse V, Ameri A, Bousser MG. Isolated intracranial hypertension as the only sign of cerebral venous thrombosis. Neurology 2000;54:2030-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
Lam BL, Schatz NJ, Glaser JS, Bowen BC. Pseudotumour cerebri from cranial venous obstruction. Ophthalmology 1992;99:706-12.  Back to cited text no. 4
Nithyanandam S, Manayath GJ, Battu RR. Optic nerve sheath decompression for visual loss in intracranial hypertension: Report from a tertiary care center in South India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2008;56:115-20.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded273    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal