Scotoma

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scotoma

[skə′tō·mə]
(medicine)
A blind spot or area of depressed vision in the visual field.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Scotoma

 

a blind area within the visual field, not affecting the surrounding area of the eye. Physiologic scotoma is that area of a healthy eye’s visual field corresponding with the optic disk, which does not have photoreceptors. Pathologic scotoma is a diagnostic symptom of many diseases, including retinitis and atrophy of the optic nerve. It is perceived as a dark spot (positive scotoma) or as a blank spot (negative scotoma) that can be detected only through special testing. During teichopsia (scintillating scotoma), which lasts 20–30 minutes, flickering is perceived along the eye’s periphery; the condition is usually accompanied by persistent headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment of scotoma is directed toward the underlying disease.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Certainly any patients with headache, visual disturbances (scotomata), bruising, bleeding, significant edema, any kind of head or abdominal pain, or other complicating features should be admitted.
"Many physicians would probably order neuroimaging for patients with an aura other than the easily recognized scintillating scotomata with alternating laterality," he said.
(*) For the optic form, major criteria were 1) decreased visual acuity (below 20/25), 2) decreased color vision (failure to identify two or more of the first eight Ishihara plates), 3) bilateral central or cecocentral scotomata, 4) decreased contrast sensitivity, and 5) bilateral loss of optic nerve fibers in the papillo-macular bundle; minor criteria were 1) temporal pallor of optic disk (1 month after symptom onset), 2) photophobia or ocular burning sensation, and 3) loss of horizontal smooth pursuit.