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Optic Nerve Edema Rare in Patients with Dialysis Shunts

No need to routinely screen asymptomatic dialysis patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Despite isolated reports of optic nerve edema in hemodialysis patients with peripheral arteriovenous shunts, this complication appears to be rare, and routine surveillance of asymptomatic patients is probably not warranted, researchers report in the August issue of Ophthalmology.

Mehran Taban, M.D., of The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and colleagues used indirect ophthalmoscopy to examine 44 individuals with peripheral arteriovenous shunts for hemodialysis. A literature search was also conducted to obtain reports on optic nerve edema in individuals with peripheral arteriovenous shunts.

None of the 44 patients had optic nerve edema, and none reported suggestive symptoms such as headache or visual changes. A literature review identified seven subjects with optic nerve edema, all of whom had suggestive symptoms.

"Although cases of papilledema in patients with peripheral arteriovenous shunts have been reported in the literature, the occurrence appears to be low, and routine ophthalmic surveillance is probably unnecessary in asymptomatic patients," the authors conclude.

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