John Laurence Keltner, M.D. for UC Davis Health

John Laurence Keltner, M.D.

Director of Research & Faculty Development






Locations and Contact

Ophthalmology Clinic-Eye Center

4860 Y St.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Clinical Interests


Providing highly specialized consultations in the diagnosis and treatment of complex unexplained neurological abnormalities affecting visual pathways. The typical case is a patient who experiences unexplained vision loss. Routine diagnostic tests and a thorough evaluation by an ophthalmologist and/or neurologist and other appropriate sub specialists. Less complicated cases can often be resolved with a telephone consultation.

Facilitating the service's hallmark diagnostic capabilities is a full complement of the most sophisticated diagnostic tools and technology, including computerized visual field testing, the latest in 3-D digital imaging and electrophysiological testing, including VEP, ERG MFVEP and MFERG.

The department's neuro-ophthalmology service accepts referrals statewide, nationally and internationally from ophthalmologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and other physician specialists.

Research/Academic Interests


Dr. Keltner is the Co-Director of the OCT Reading Center with Dr. Jack Werner. They are currently involved in two major MS trials using OCT. Dr. Keltner was the Director of the Visual Field Reading Center for both the Longitudinal Optic Neuritis Study and Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study. He is an internationally known neuroophthalmologist who treats a wide variety of conditions. His areas of research interest include the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of facial spasms, effects of cancer on the eye, autoimmune-related retinopathies, optic neuropathies that affect vision, MS and its affect on vision, and automated visual field testing.


Neuro-Ophthalmology, Strabismus and Pediatric Ophthalmology

Center/Program Affiliation

Eye Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Undergraduate School

B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware OH 1961

Medical School

M.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland OH 1965


New York Hospital, New York NY 1965-1966


Barnes Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO 1971-1974


Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem SC 1969-1970


New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center, New York NY 1966-1967


Barnes Hospital, Washington University, St. Louis MO 1970-1971


Children's Hospital, Washington DC 1974

Best Ophthalmologists - Sacramento Magazine 2001, 2001

Keltner JL, Thirkill C, Merrill K, Hanna E, Burt RK, Oyama Y. A Case of autoimmune-related retinopathy and optic neuropathy syndrome treated by autologous non-myeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transportation. Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, 29(1):43-49, 2009 Mar.

Choi SS, Zawadzki RJ, Greiner MA, Keltner JL, Werner JS. Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography and adaptive optics reveal nerve fiber layer loss and photoreceptor changes in a patient with optic nerve drusen. Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, 28(2):120-125.2008.

Choi SS, Zawadzki RJ, Keltner JL, Werner JS. Changes in cellular structures revealed by ultra-high resolution retinal imaging in optic neuropathies. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 49(5):2103-2119. 2008.

Gerth C, Zawadzki RJ, Choi SS, Keltner JL, Park SS, Werner JS. Visualization of lipofuscin accumulation in Stargardt macular dystrophy by high-resolution Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography. Archives of Ophthalmology, 125(4):575. 2007.

Keltner JL, Fine SL, Abrams GW and Mondino B. Subspecialty Fellowships: Standardizing and Enchancing the Educational Experience. Ophthalmology, 144(4): 628. 2007.

Sanchez R, Smith A, Carelli V, Sadun A, Keltner JL. Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy Possible Triggered by Exposure to Tire Fire. Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, 26(4), 268-272. Helped collect data and write manuscript. 2007.

Levine RA, Demirel S, Fan J, Keltner JL, Johnson CA, Kass MA, and the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study Group "Asymmetries and Visual Field Summaries as Predictors of Glaucoma in the OHTS." Invest Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 47(9): 3896-3903. Part of the OHTSG. 2006.

Keltner JL, Johnson CA, Anderson DR, Levine RA, Fan J, Cello KE, Quigley HA, Budenz DL, Parrish RK, Kass MA, Gordon MO and the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study Group. The Association Between Glaucomatous Visual Fields and Optic Nerve Head Features in the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS). Ophthalmology, 113(9):1603-1612. Part of the OHTSG. 2006.

Keltner, JL, Thirkill CE, Yip PT. Clinical and Immunologic Characteristics of Melanoma-Associated Retinopathy Syndrome: Eleven New Cases and a Review of 51 Previously Published Cases. J. Neuro-Ophthalmology 21(3):173-187. 2001

Keltner JL, Johnson CA, Quigg JM, Cello KE, Kass MA, Gordon MO, Spurr JO and the Ocular Hypertension Study Group. Confirmation of Visual Field Abnormalities in the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS) Arch Ophthalmol 118. 2000