Clinical and diagnostic spectrum of optic neuritis: A single-center retrospective study of disorders associated with multiple sclerosis, anti-aquaporin-4 and anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies

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Clinical neurology and neurosurgery


OBJECTIVE: Optic neuritis (ON) is an immune-mediated optic neuropathy associated with multiple immune-mediated neurological conditions. Our aim was to characterize the clinical and diagnostic features of first or initial episodes of ON associated with multiple sclerosis (MS)-associated (typical) and antibody-related (atypical) ON.

METHODS: Retrospective, single institution, medical record review. We analyzed demographic, clinical, laboratory, and radiographic findings of 139 patients who presented with first episodes of MS-associated ON (MS-ON), aquaporin 4 antibody-associated ON (AQP4-ON), and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated ON (MOG-ON) between January 2015 and October 2019 without preceding diagnosis. Simple hypothesis testing assessed differences between groups were performed.

RESULTS: Of 139 patients (109 [79 %] women; 29 [21 %] men; mean age 47 [SD, 14] years), 106 had MS-ON, 25 had AQP4-ON, and 8 had MOG-ON. Patients with MOG-ON had the highest recurrence rate (88 %) relative to MS-ON (28 %) and AQP4-ON (56 %) patients (P < .001). Patients with AQP4-ON had the highest mean visual functional system scores (4.3 [SD, 1.8]) relative to MS-ON (2.0 [SD, 1.9]) and MOG-ON patients (2.8 [SD, 2.0]) (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Patients presenting with initial episodes of ON exhibit a range radiographic and laboratory feature depending on the underlying associated disease. Understanding the variable characteristics of typical (MS-associated) and atypical (antibody-associated) ON may help physicians accurately diagnose and effectively treat ON.

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