In the late nineteenth century, publications on ocular complications of diabetes mellitus frequently mentioned primary optic atrophy. Clifford Allbutt in 1871 stated “atrophy of the optic discs … does undoubtedly occur in a sufficient number of cases of glycosuria to make the coexistence seem more than accidental.” In 1875 Leber quoted a number of cases recorded by other observers, but stated that he had not seen such a patient himself. In the 1927 edition of von Noorden's book on diabetes, 4 per cent of 477 diabetic patients are recorded as suffering from simple optic atrophy. More recently, Waite and Beetham (1935) found optic atrophy in 0.6 per cent of 2,002 diabetics and in 0.4 per cent of 457 nondiabetics. The only other reference in recent literature is that of Wolfram (1938) who reported from the Mayo Clinic four cases of diabetes mellitus and simple optic atrophy among siblings. This communication is concerned with two further cases.

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