More than meets the eye: Point-of-care ultrasound diagnosis of acute optic neuritis in the emergency department

Am J Emerg Med. 2019 Jan;37(1):177.e1-177.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2018.10.001. Epub 2018 Oct 2.


Optic neuritis (ON) is an inflammatory condition that causes demyelination and thickening of the optic nerve leading to acute/subacute vision loss. It is frequently associated with other conditions like multiple sclerosis, but is often misdiagnosed, which can lead to a suboptimal prognosis. Ultrasound is rarely utilized to help make this diagnosis, even though it can easily detect a thickened retrobulbar optic nerve sheath diameter. We describe four cases in which ultrasonographic measurement of the optic nerve sheath diameter aided in the diagnosis of ON.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Neuritis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Optic Neuritis / drug therapy
  • Photophobia / etiology
  • Plasma Exchange
  • Point-of-Care Testing*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vision, Low / etiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Methylprednisolone