Management of optic neuritis

Menon, Vimla; Saxena, Rohit; Misra, Ruby; Phuljhele, Swati
March 2011
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology;Mar2011, Vol. 59 Issue 2, p117
Academic Journal
Optic neuritis is an inflammatory condition of the optic nerve characterized by a sudden onset of unilateral visual loss, usually affecting young females. Demyelination associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common cause in regions where MS is prevalent; while in other places, there are a substantial proportion of cases where infective or autoimmune causes are seen. Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial (ONTT) was the first major study that provided information on the natural history, role of steroids in treatment and risk of development of MS. Subsequently, numerous clinical trials have evaluated different modalities of management of optic neuritis and MS. The Controlled High-Risk Subjects Avonex Multiple Sclerosis Prevention Study (CHAMPS); the Prevention of Relapses and Disability by Interferon β-1a Subcutaneously in Multiple Sclerosis (PRISMS) Trial; and, most recently, the Betaferon in Newly Emerging Multiple Sclerosis for Initial Treatment (BENEFIT) Study have provided large amount of information on the natural history of optic neuritis and management options available. However, due to the low prevalence of MS reported in Asian studies, high cost of therapy and indefinite time period of treatment, it may not be cost effective to start interferon therapy in most cases.


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