Optic disk hemorrhage in health and disease

Surv Ophthalmol. 2017 Nov-Dec;62(6):784-802. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2017.04.001. Epub 2017 Apr 8.


Optic disk hemorrhage occurs in all age groups from neonates to the elderly. Optic disk hemorrhage is best known for its association with visual field loss and progression in patients with glaucoma; however, it may occur in conjunction with other ocular or systemic conditions as well as in healthy individuals. It may also be the first sign of a sight-threatening condition. Variations in the shape, location, and size of the optic disk hemorrhage, as well as associated ocular and systemic signs or symptoms, may help determine the underlying pathology. We address the epidemiology, demographics, pathophysiology, clinical presentations and implications, differential diagnoses, and management of eyes with optic disk hemorrhage in diseased and healthy subjects.

Keywords: glaucoma; hemorrhage; optic disk; retinal diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Glaucoma / complications
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Ocular Hypertension / complications
  • Optic Disk*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / etiology
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Retinal Hemorrhage* / diagnosis
  • Retinal Hemorrhage* / epidemiology
  • Retinal Hemorrhage* / etiology
  • Retinal Hemorrhage* / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors