Paediatric optic neuritis: factors leading to unfavourable outcome and relapses

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Abstract

Objectives

To identify prognostic factors associated with poor visual recovery and chronic relapsing diseases, for example, multiple sclerosis (MS), in children with optic neuritis (ON) at onset.

Methods

This multicentre retrospective study included 102 children with a first ON episode between 1990 and 2012. The primary criterion was poor visual recovery determined by visual acuity, and the secondary was relapses following ON.

Results

Median age was 11 years, 66% were girls and mean follow-up was 24 months. 58% of children were diagnosed with idiopathic isolated ON, 22% had MS, 5% had Devic’s neuromyelitis optica and 6% chronic relapsing inflammatory ON. Complete visual acuity recovery rate was 57% (95% CI=[46%-69%]) at 6 months and 71% (95% CI=[60%-81%]) at 1 and 2 years but was lower in MS (p<0.01), with recovery rate of only 27% (95% CI=[12%-54%]) at 1 year. Age ≥10 years, optic disc pallor at funduscopy and MS were the principal factors associated with poor visual recovery. Age ≥10 years, abnormal brain MRI at onset and oligoclonal banding were significantly associated with MS (p<0.01).

Conclusion

Age ≥10, optic disc pallor and MS were associated with poor recovery. Better identification of these patients may help to adapt treatment and lead to a prospective treatment study.

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