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Logo of bmjcrInstructions for authorsCurrent ToCBMJ Case Reports
BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr0320102835.
Published online Oct 13, 2010. doi:  10.1136/bcr.03.2010.2835
PMCID: PMC3029973
Unusual association of diseases/symptoms
A rare potentially treatable cause of bilateral optic disc swelling
M Abu-Ain,1 S Aazem,2 C Morton,3 M Kumwenda,4 D Griffiths,4 and A Jacob5
1Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, UK
2Department of Ophthalmology, H M Stanley Hospital, St Asaph, UK
3Department of Ophthalmology, H M Stanley Eye Unit, St Asaph, UK
4Department of Adult Medicine, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl, UK
5Department of Neurology, Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery NHS Trust, Liverpool, UK
Correspondence to C Morton, ce.morton/at/
Rapid onset bilateral optic disc swelling generally indicates an intracranial problem—that is, papilloedema. However, when there is also visual loss, disease affecting the optic nerves themselves must be considered.
We present the diagnostic problem of a patient with optic disc swelling and progressive visual loss.
Investigations finally revealed hypocalcaemia secondary to primary hypoparathyroidism. With treatment a marked improvement in vision occurred.
This reversible rare cause of optic disc swelling should not be forgotten.
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