Visual Field Defects
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Before the Optic chiasmThe visual field loss is seen on the same (ipsilateral) side as the lesion.
Fig 1 – lesion of right optic nerve gives a Right Monocular loss – Can be caused by – trauma, Multiple sclerosis
Fig 2 – lesion at optic chiasm – Can be caused by a pituitary tumour, craniopharyngioma, suprasellar meningioma
After the optic chiasm – The visual loss is seen on the opposite (contralateral) side of the lesion because the optic nerves have already crossed over at the optic chiasm.
Fig 3 – lesion at the right optic tract gives a left homonymous hemianopia. Can be caused by vascular disease, head injury, cerebral tumour.
Each eye has a left and a right visual field. In a left homonymous hemianopia the left visual field of both the right eye and left eye is lost but the lesion is of the right optic tract.
Fig 4 – lesion at the left optic radiation gives a right upper homonymous quadrantanopia. Can be caused by stroke, Space occupying lesions
Each eye has a left and right visual field. In a right upper homonymous quadrantanopia the right visual field of both the right eye and left eye is lost.  The lesion is of the left temporal radiation (remember that Temporal produces a Top quadrantanopia).
Fig 5 – lesion of the parietal radiation will result in a lower homonymous quadrantanopia.
Fig 6 – Lesion at the right occipital lobe/pole. Gives a left homonymous hemianopia with macular/ central vision sparring. Can be caused by stroke in posterior circulation
Quick Summary Table
Loss of vision in one eye
Ipsilateral Optic Nerve
Bitemporal Hemianopia
Optic chiasm
Binasal hemianopia
Optic chiasm
Left homonymous hemianopia
Right optic tract / radiation
Right homonymous hemianopia
Left optic tract / radiation
Homonymous quadrantopia
Contralateral optic radiation
  • Upper – temporal region
  • Lower – parietal region
Occipital region

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Dr Tom Leach

Dr Tom Leach MBChB DCH EMCert(ACEM) FRACGP currently works as a GP and an Emergency Department CMO in Australia. He is also a Clinical Associate Lecturer at the Australian National University, and is studying for a Masters of Sports Medicine at the University of Queensland. After graduating from his medical degree at the University of Manchester in 2011, Tom completed his Foundation Training at Bolton Royal Hospital, before moving to Australia in 2013. He started almostadoctor whilst a third year medical student in 2009. Read full bio

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Shentu

    Nice, thanks

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