Optic neuropathy due to chronic lymphocytic leukemia: The first manifestation of the disease

Diogo Maleita, Rita Serras Pereira, Diogo Hipolito-Fernandes, Nuno Moura-Coelho, João Paulo Cunha, Joana Tavares Ferreira

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Purpose: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common lymphoproliferative disorder in the western world. The involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) or the optic nerve in CLL, however, is rare. We report a case of a previously untreated patient with CLL whose first manifestation of the disease was a progressive visual loss caused by optic neuropathy. Observations: Clinical manifestations, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and automated visual fields pointed to the diagnosis of neuropathy. Leukemic involvement of the CNS was confirmed after cells suggestive of CLL were found by cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Optic nerve infiltration is thought to be the cause of this optic neuropathy, and the clinical course and treatment are described herein. Conclusions: When readily diagnosed, optic nerve infiltration is a rare, yet manageable complication of CLL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100603
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Optic nerve infiltration
  • Optic neuropathy


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