Merck Manual

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The Optic Pathway

By

John J. Chen

, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic

Medically Reviewed Oct 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 ).

Higher visual pathways—lesion sites and corresponding visual field defects

With retrochiasmal lesions, visual field defects are on the same side (homonymous) and tend to become more symmetric (congruous) with more posterior lesions, as shown with the occipital lesion in #4.

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