Merck Manual

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The Optic Pathway

By

James Garrity

, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Last full review/revision Sep 2021| Content last modified Sep 2022
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The optic pathway includes the retina, optic nerve, optic chiasm, optic radiations, and occipital cortex (see figure Higher visual pathways Higher visual pathways—lesion sites and corresponding visual field defects 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 Types of Field Defects 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.

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