Pediatric optic neuritis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Pediatric optic neuritis may be challenging to diagnose and treat. Significant clinical investigation of optic neuritis occurring in adults guides current clinical practices. Differences in presentation and prognosis exist for pediatric patients with optic neuritis when compared with adults including the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. The aim of this review is to provide an update on latest advances in the diagnosis, treatment and current research concerning pediatric optic neuritis.

Recent findings

Limited case series and retrospective reviews constitute much of the data we know about patients with pediatric optic neuritis. Pediatric optic neuritis is included in the spectrum of neuroinflammatory diseases. Testing modalities (ocular coherence tomography and visual evoked potentials) and serologic testing (antibodies against aquaporin-4 and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein) are being investigated for diagnostic and prognostic value. The low incidence of pediatric optic neuritis results in small sample sizes may contribute to conflicting results of different studies.

Summary

Recent advances in diagnostic and serologic testing in pediatric neuritis may offer better diagnosis, treatment and prediction of prognosis. Validation requires well designed prospective research.

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