Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 919–926 | Cite as

Perioperative visual loss after nonocular surgery

  • Ashfaq Kitaba
  • David P. Martin
  • Senthil Gopalakrishnan
  • Joseph D. TobiasEmail author
Review Article


Although rare, a change in visual acuity after surgery for nonocular procedures has devastating consequences. Increased recognition and discussion of this complication is reported in recent literature, most notably following spinal and cardiac surgery. Various pathologies may be responsible for perioperative visual loss (POVL), including ischemic optic neuropathy, retinal vascular occlusion, and cortical blindness. Here we review the incidence of the problem, the anatomy and physiology of the ocular circulation, variants of POVL, and proposed predisposing factors. Potential perioperative methods to prevent this complication are discussed, and suggested treatment modalities are presented.


Visual loss Complications Blood loss Hypotension Ischemic optic neuropathy Retinal vascular occlusion 


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashfaq Kitaba
    • 1
  • David P. Martin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Senthil Gopalakrishnan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joseph D. Tobias
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineNationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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