Transient blindness following epidural analgesia

Anaesthesia. 1991 Nov;46(11):940-1. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1991.tb09853.x.


A 43-year-old woman was given an epidural injection of steroid mixed with local anaesthetic, under general anaesthesia, for treatment of low back pain. In the recovery room she complained of blindness in one eye. Fundoscopy revealed retinal and vitreous haemorrhages in both eyes. Retinal haemorrhages can be caused by an increase in intracranial pressure and are therefore a possible complication of epidural anaesthesia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesia, Epidural / adverse effects*
  • Back Pain / prevention & control
  • Blindness / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Pressure / drug effects
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / complications
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / etiology*