Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis followed by Optic Neuritis: A Rare Syndrome of Uncertain Treatment and Prognosis

Neuropediatrics. 2020 Aug;51(4):286-291. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-3402004. Epub 2020 Jan 14.


Aim: Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis followed by optic neuritis (ADEM-ON), first described in 2013, is a rare demyelinating syndrome, typical of the pediatric age. We conducted a mini review of the existing literature, focusing on clinical, laboratory, radiological, therapeutic, and prognostic aspects in order to improve the identification of new cases.

Methods: We searched PubMed and Cochrane Library for studies on ADEM-ON between 2013 and 2018.

Results examination: of the reported cases (three case reports and eight observational studies) established the following features. Time between ADEM and ON is highly variable. Almost all patients show antimyelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody (MOG-abs) seropositivity. High-dose intravenous steroid and plasmapheresis efficacy is reported for the acute phase; oral prednisone and other maintenance drugs may be useful in avoiding relapses. The clinical history may lead to a complete recovery but also to residual deficits.

Conclusion: MOG-abs detection strongly supports ADEM-ON diagnosis, confirming this entity as part of MOG-abs spectrum disorder. Owing to the very small number of cases so far reported, predicting clinical evolution is very difficult.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated* / diagnosis
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated* / immunology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein / immunology*
  • Optic Neuritis* / diagnosis
  • Optic Neuritis* / immunology
  • Optic Neuritis* / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Syndrome


  • MOG protein, human
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein