Find information on medical topics, symptoms, drugs, procedures, news and more, written for the health care professional.

* This is the Professional Version. *

The Optic Pathway

by James Garrity, MD

The optic pathway includes the retina, optic nerve, optic chiasm, optic radiations, and occipital cortex (see Figure: Higher visual pathways—lesion sites and corresponding visual field defects.). Damage along the optic pathway causes a variety of visual field defects. The type of field defect can help localize the lesion (see Table: Types of Field Defects).

Higher visual pathways—lesion sites and corresponding visual field defects.

With retrochiasmal lesions, visual field defects tend to become more symmetric (congruous), as shown with the occipital lesion in #4.

Resources In This Article

* This is a professional Version *