Arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy treated with intravenous prostaglandin E1 and steroids

Robert D. Steigerwalt, M. Rosaria Cesarone, Gianni Belcaro, Antonella Pascarella, Mauro De Angelis, Roberto Gattegna, Marcella Nebbioso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AAION) is an acute ischemia of the posterior ciliary arteries and/or ophthalmic artery due to inflammation. Therapy is immediate intervention with systemic steroids, especially to protect against vision loss in the other eye. The addition of a potent vasodilator to the steroids could help restore ocular blood flow and improve visual acuity. The objective of the current report was to present the use of prostaglandin E 1 (PGE1) - a powerful vasodilator of the microcirculation - in the treatment of AAION. Two patients with AAION were treated with intravenous steroids and PGE1. The visual acuity improved from 4/50 (less than 20/200) to 6/10 (20/35) in one patient and from 1/50 (20/400) to 1/10 (20/200) in the second patient. The visual fields in both patients maintained small central islands of vision. No complications due to the use of PGE 1 were seen. Intravenous PGE1 should be considered in addition to steroids in cases of AAION to immediately restore blood flow to the optic nerve and improve visual acuity while the steroids reduce the inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Angiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


  • Arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • PGE
  • Prostaglandin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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