[Raxone in the Leber optical neuropathy: Parisian experience]

J Fr Ophtalmol. 2019 Mar;42(3):269-275. doi: 10.1016/j.jfo.2018.06.010. Epub 2019 Feb 1.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) causes a rapid and severe decrease in visual acuity. Raxone® (Idebenone, Santhera) is the only drug to have a European Marketing Authorization for the treatment of this optic neuropathy. It can be proposed in the first months after the onset of this optic neuropathy, according to an international consensus meeting.

Patients and methods: Retrospective study of the efficacy of Raxone® on the visual acuity of patients with genetically confirmed LHON who were followed in four Parisian hospitals. The primary endpoint is the best recovery of LogMar visual acuity between baseline and the end of follow-up. The secondary endpoints are the evolution of LogMar visual acuity of the best eye at baseline and change in LogMar visual acuity for each eye considered separately.

Results: Seventeen patients, three women and 14 men, mean age 34.2 years, naive to treatment with Raxone® were included in this study. The mean duration of treatment was 11.0±6.6 months. A mitochondrial DNA mutation was found in all patients. Only 2 had the 14484 mutation. A recovery of better LogMar visual acuity was found at the end of the treatment for 4 eyes (23.5 %), and a deterioration was observed for 8 (47.0 %). Only 2 eyes (11.7 %) with the best visual acuity at baseline improved. On the other hand, 17.6 % of the eyes considered separately had an improvement in their LogMar visual acuity at the end of the treatment.

Conclusion: The results confirm the trend of Raxone® treatment to improve patients' visual acuity. Given the recommendations of a consensus conference, this treatment should be started early after the onset of LHON. It is therefore important to look for this diagnosis in the presence of any hereditary optic neuropathy, in order to be able to initiate this treatment.

Keywords: Acuité visuelle; Idebenone; Idébénone; Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy; Neuropathie optique héréditaire de Leber; Traitement; Treatment; Visual acuity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber / drug therapy*
  • Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber / pathology
  • Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber / physiopathology
  • Paris
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / therapeutic use
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Ubiquinone
  • idebenone