OBJECTIVE Intracranial aneurysms are sometimes presented with visual symptoms by their rupture or direct compression of the optic nerve. It is because their prevalent sites are anatomically located close to the optic pathway. Anterior communicating artery is especially located in close proximity to optic nerve. Aneurysm arising in this area can produce visual symptoms according to their direction while the size is small. Clinical importance of visual symptoms presented by aneurysmal optic nerve compression is stressed in this study. METHODS Retrospective analysis of ruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysms compressing optic apparatus were carried out. Total 33 cases were enrolled in this study. Optic nerve compression of the aneurysms was confirmed by the surgical fields. RESULTS In 33 cases among 351 cases of ruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysms treated surgically, from 1991 to 2000, the dome of aneurysm was compressed in optic pathway. In some cases, aneurysm impacted into the optic nerve that deep hollowness was found when the aneurysm sac was removed during operation. Among 33 cases, 10 cases presented with preoperative visual symptoms, such as visual dimness (5), unilateral visual field defect (2) or unilateral visual loss (3), 20 cases had no visual symptoms. Visual symptoms could not be checked in 3 cases due to the poor mental state. In 6 cases among 20 cases having no visual symptoms, optic nerve was deeply compressed by the dome of aneurysm which was seen in the surgical field. Of 10 patients who had visual symptoms, 8 showed improvement in visual symptoms within 6 months after clipping of aneurysms. In 2 cases, the visual symptoms did not recover. CONCLUSION Anterior communicating artery aneurysm can cause visual symptoms by compressing the optic nerve or direct rupture to the optic nerve with focal hematoma formation. We emphasize that cerebral vascular study is highly recommended to detect intracranial aneurysm before its rupture in the case of normal CT findings with visual symptoms and frequent headache.