Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Complete unilateral vision loss and optic nerve cupping from metastatic prostate cancer to the optic canal
  1. Aaron T Chan and
  2. Jonathan A Micieli
  1. Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan A Micieli; jonathanmicieli{at}


A 71-year-old man, living with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer to the lymph nodes, spine and skull, presented with acute on chronic left eye vision loss. Examination revealed no-light-perception vision, a relative afferent pupillary defect and optic disc cupping. MRI brain revealed optic canal narrowing from metastatic sphenoid bone expansion and extraosseous tumour compressing the intracanalicular optic nerve. The optic disc cupping and excavation without significant pallor of the remaining neuroretinal rim was likely secondary to chronic compression of the optic nerve. The patient was treated with radiation therapy, but did not regain vision and was referred to palliative care as his condition continued to worsen. As patients live longer with advanced cancer, there is a greater risk of metastasis to atypical areas of the body including the optic nerve. This case demonstrates the unique combination of optic disc cupping from optic canal metastasis due to prostate cancer.

  • prostate cancer
  • radiotherapy
  • visual pathway

Statistics from


  • Contributors ATC, JAM: Conception and design, data acquisition, final approval; ATC: Manuscript preparation; JAM, Critical revision.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.