Acute inflammatory demyelinating optic neuritis: current concepts in diagnosis and management.
BACKGROUND: Optic neuritis (ON), defined as an inflammatory demyelinating optic neuropathy, is a frequent cause of visual loss owing to optic nerve dysfunction in young or middle-aged patients. ON can be seen in isolation or in association with multiple sclerosis (MS). Highlighting the importance of this association is the fact that approximately 20% of patients with MS will present with ON. METHODS: Review was conducted of the literature and pertinent clinical trials. CONCLUSION: Although the vision prognosis of patients with ON is excellent, with or without the use of corticosteroids, a minority of patients will suffer from significantly poor vision. ON may be the heralding manifestation of MS; the risk stratification for the future development of MS in patients presenting with ON can be determined by the number of white matter lesions on the baseline cerebral magnetic resonance imaging study. To date, 2 randomized, placebo-controlled studies have found that patients with a clinically isolated demyelinating syndrome, such as ON, at risk for MS, may benefit from the early institution of a disease-modifying drug.
Bhatti, MT; Schmitt, NJ; Beatty, RL
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