Visual field constriction is not limited to children treated with vigabatrin

Neuropediatrics. 1999 Jun;30(3):130-2. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-973477.


Vigabatrin (GVG) is widely used in the treatment of complex partial seizures and infantile spasms. Persistent visual field constriction associated with GVG therapy in adults was reported as a rare but serious side-effect. Visual field examination in children is more difficult because of a lack of cooperation among very young or mentally handicapped patients. We performed Goldmann perimetry in 12 of 153 patients treated with GVG as mono- or as add-on therapy. The others would not cooperate, and two adolescents refused the examination. For comparison, we examined 12 age-matched patients with complex partial or generalized epilepsy who had never taken GVG. In five of 12 GVG-treated patients, and in one of the control group, we found a concentric visual field constriction. All patients were subjectively asymptomatic. The GVG-treated patients had taken the drug in combination with valproic acid (VPA) or oxcarbazepine (OCB). In four patients, GVG treatment was already stopped at the time of the ophthalmologic examination. Three patients had intracerebral lesions that could not account for the pathologic perimetric findings. The single patient from the control group with concentric visual field constriction had an absence epilepsy, treatment being performed with VPA and lamotrigine (LTG). In conclusion, GVG has a causal but not unique connection with visual field constriction in pediatric patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Spasms, Infantile / drug therapy*
  • Vigabatrin / adverse effects*
  • Vigabatrin / therapeutic use
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields / drug effects*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Vigabatrin