Mnemonics: VITAMIN D

My class was first introduced to this mnemonic by Dr. Karen Brandreth-Walker, OD, last year during our systemics lectures; but it was originally created by Dr. Todd Severin, MD, who has been lecturing us in our posterior segment class this past month on glaucoma and its treatment. The mnemonic “VITAMIN D” tells you what things to consider as an etiology for any pathological process. It isn’t perfect, but it works:

As an example, let’s say you see a 65 yo., white male. With an IOP of 16, C/D of 0.70, a nerve fiber layer defect, and a superior arcuate scotoma. Sounds a lot like low tension glaucoma, doesn’t it? But what else could it be? Glaucoma is technically an optic neuropathy. The menmonic is below with just a few examples in each category to consider for an optic neuropathy, as well as some differential tests that would need to be done.

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