Objective: To describe the characteristics of patients with homonymous hemianopia from traumatic brain injury (TBI) seen in our unit between 1989 and 2004.
Methods: Only patients with a history of TBI, who had detailed clinical information and results of neuroimaging, were included in our study. Demographic characteristics, clinical features, types of visual field defects, location of lesion and evolution of visual field defects were recorded.
Results: Of the 880 patients with homonymous hemianopia seen in our unit, 103 patients (112 with homonymous hemianopia) had TBI (74 men and 29 women, mean age 30.7 (SD 15.3) years). Median time from injury to initial visual field testing was 5 (range 0.5–360) months. In all, 64 (57.1%) patients sustained injuries that were motor vehicle-related; 19 (17%) violence-related; 17 (15.2%) due to falls; and 12 (10.7%) because of other blunt head trauma. Visual field defects included complete homonymous hemianopia in 44 (39.3%) patients and incomplete homonymous hemianopia in 68 (60.7%) patients. The lesion was occipital in 14 (12.5%) patients, associated with optic radiation in 26 (23.2%) and the optic tract in 12 (10.7%), and multiple in 60 (53.6%).
Conclusion: Most cases of homonymous hemianopia from TBI were motor vehicle-related. Patients were younger, more often male, and had multiple brain lesions more often than patients with homonymous hemianopia from causes other than TBI. A median delay of 5 months was observed before the documentation of the homonymous hemianopia, which may have a major effect on the success of rehabilitation and driving training in these young patients.
- GVF, Goldman visual field testing
- TBI, traumatic brain injury
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Competing interests: None.
This study was approved by the Emory University Institutional Review Board. Dr Newman is a recipient of a Research to Prevent Blindness Lew R Wasserman Merit Award.
Published Online First 30 March 2006