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Homonymous hemianopias: clinical-anatomic correlations in 904 cases

      Homonymous hemianopia (HH) impairs visual function and frequently precludes driving. Most knowledge of HH is based on relatively few cases with clinical-anatomic correlations. The objective of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and clinical-anatomic correlations of HH. The authors reviewed medical records of all patients with HH seen in their service between 1989 and 2004. Demographic characteristics, characteristics of visual field defects, causes of visual field defects, neuroradiologic definition of lesion location, and associated neurologic deficits were recorded. A total of 904 HH were found in 852 patients. A total of 340 HH (37.6%) were complete and 564 HH (62.4%) were incomplete. Homonymous quadrantanopia (264 HH, 29%) was the most common type of incomplete HH, followed by homonymous scotomatous defects (116 HH, 13.5%), partial HH (114 HH, 13%), and HH with macular sparing (66 HH, 7%). A total of 407 HH (45.0%) were isolated. Causes of HH included stroke (629 HH, 69.6%), trauma (123, 13.6%), tumor (102, 11.3%), brain surgery (22, 2.4%), demyelination (13, 1.4%), other rare causes (13, 1.4%), and unknown etiology (2, 0.2%). The lesions were most commonly located in the occipital lobes (45%) and the optic radiations (32.2%). Every type of HH, except for unilateral loss of temporal crescent and homonymous sectoranopia, was found in all lesion locations along the retrochiasmal visual pathways. This study shows that HH is usually secondary to stroke, head trauma, and tumors. The authors conclude that although the characteristics of visual field defects can be helpful in lesion location, specific visual field defects do not always indicate specific brain locations.—Author’s abstract
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