Time is vision in recurrent optic neuritis

Esther Osinga, Bob van Oosten, Willemien de Vries-Knoppert, Axel Petzold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In optic neuritis (ON) inflammation precedes onset of demyelination and axonal loss. The anti-inflammatory properties of corticosteroids may be most effective in the early inflammatory phase, but rapid patient recruitment remains a logistic challenge. The aim of the study was to review the effect of time to initiation of treatment on visual outcome in recurrent ON. A retrospective case note review of patients known to our centre with recurrent ON. The primary clinical outcome was change of best corrected high contrast visual acuity (BCVA). The secondary outcome was the change of optical coherence tomography (OCT) thickness of the peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (pRNFL) and macular ganglion cell layer (mGCL) from baseline and after a minimum of 3 months following the episode of recurrent ON. Of 269 patients with a previous episode of ON, 54 experienced recurrent ON. In total 40 OCT documented episodes of relapsing ON were captured in 19 patients. Treatment within <2 days led to better recovery of the BCVA (+0.02) and mGCL (−2.4 µm) if compared to delayed treatment (BCVA −0.2, p = 0.036, mGCL −25.6 µm, p = 0.019) or no corticosteroids treatment (BCVA −0.2, p = 0.045, GCL −5.0 µm, p = 0.836). These data suggest a beneficial effect of hyperacute corticosteroid treatment. A pragmatic approach for a prospective treatment trial should consider patients with recurrent ON for logistic reasons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2017


  • Corticosteroids
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Recurrent optic neuritis
  • Visual acuity

Cite this