Optic Nerve Coloboma

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  Optic Nerve Coloboma

Credits: 1.00   Post-Assessment Questions:  5

Release Date: 5 Oct 2020
Expiration Date: 30 Jun 2021
Last Reviewed: 30 Jun 2020
Estimated Time To Finish: 60 Minutes

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Activity Description

The term coloboma derives from the Greek word koloboma, originally used to indicate a part that was removed by mutilation, missing or cut short. Colobomas are congenital ocular defects that can affect the iris, the lens, the choroid, the retina, and the optic nerve. Optic nerve colobomas have been associated with microphthalmos, iris coloboma, ciliary coloboma, lens notching, retinal detachment, neovascular membranes, and macular holes. Optic nerve colobomas have been associated with microphthalmos, iris coloboma, ciliary coloboma, lens notching, retinal detachment, neovascular membranes, and macular holes. On a typical funduscopic exam, clinicians see large optic nerve excavations usually inferiorly. Defects occur both unilaterally and bilaterally at equal rates. Patients may have microphthalmia or optic nerve cysts that communicate with the subarachnoid space. Cysts rarely expand to cause compressive optic neuropathy. Optic nerve hypoplasia is a more common cause of visual impairment in children than optic nerve coloboma. Bilateral disease is more common than unilateral disease. The former presents with nystagmus, whereas the latter presents with strabismus. Visual acuity can range from 20/20 to NLP. On examination the optic nerve is small.Iris colobomas may cause photophobia, visual distortion and double vision. They may also be cosmetically unacceptable. Cosmetic contact lenses with an artificial pupil may be used. Surgical repair of the defect with sutures may be possible. Artificial iris prosthetic devices are being explored in the presence of pseudophakia. Iris-painted intraocular lenses may be implanted after removal of the cataract. Foldable artificial irises may also be inserted through a small incision. This activity reviews the evaluation and treatment of optic nerve coloboma and the role of the interprofessional team in managing this condition.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Describe the pathophysiology of optic nerve colobomas.
  • Review the presentation of a patient with an optic nerve coloboma.
  • Summarize the treatment of an optic nerve coloboma.

Author(s) / Contributors Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

Each author, editor, faculty and planning committee member have completed a disclosure form indicating that neither they nor their spouse/partner has a financial interest/arrangement or affiliation that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of this activity.

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.


Hover over the contributor names to see details and disclosures of any financial relationships or relationships they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this continuing education activity.

Authors: Sravanthi Vegunta
Editors: Bhupendra Patel
Editors-In-Chief: Jim WangShane HavensKoushik Tripathy
Chief Medical Reviewer: Mahdi Alsaleem
Nurse Planner/Reviewer/Editor: Lisa Haddad
Nurse Planner/Reviewer/Editor: Bernadette Makar
Nurse Planner/Reviewer/Editor: Dorothy Caputo
Pharmacy Planner/Reviewer/Editor: Mark Pellegrini
Physician Planner/Reviewer/Editor: Scott Dulebohn

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, and StatPearls, LLC. The Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University designates this activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing and a money-back guarantee is provided if not completely satisfied.

  • StatPearls and ETSU reserve the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances. StatPearls and ETSU will not be responsible for other expenses incurred by the participant in the unlikely event that the program is canceled.

Equal Opportunity

  • StatPearls and ETSU are Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action / Equal Access Institutions. 

Medium or Media Used:

  • Computer Requirements:  Internet Access
  • E-mail Address

Instructions for Credit

  1. Register for the activity and create a StatPearls login.     
  2. Review the required accreditation information:  Target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Complete the entire self-study activity.
  4. Complete the post-test assessments.
  5. Successfully pass the post-test with a minimum score of 100%.
  6. Complete the evaluation form.
  7. Obtain a certificate.

StatPearls and ETSU adhere to ACCME Standards regarding commercial support of continuing medical education. It is the policy of StatPearls and ETSU that the faculty and planning committee disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity, that relevant conflict(s) of interest are resolved, and also that authors and editors will disclose any unlabeled/unapproved use of drug(s) or device(s) during their presentation. Detailed disclosure will be made prior to starting the activity.

The information provided at this CME/CE activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

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The contributors and editors of StatPearls have attested that all associated media (images and video) have been legally cleared for use with this activity.  All copyrights are reserved.

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