Evidence-based management of optic neuritis

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2023 Oct 17. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000001007. Online ahead of print.


Purpose of review: Optic neuritis can result from several distinct causes, including multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD), when not idiopathic. This review discusses evidence-based treatment approaches contingent upon each specific cause of optic neuritis.

Recent findings: Current evidence highlights the need for prompt plasmapheresis as adjunct to intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP) in patients with NMOSD-associated optic neuritis. Recent advances have included a proliferation of novel disease modifying therapies (DMTs) for long-term management of NMOSD and an understanding of how existing therapeutic options can be leveraged to optimally treat MOGAD.

Summary: In acute idiopathic or MS-associated optic neuritis, IVMP hastens visual recovery, though it does not substantially affect final visual outcomes. IVMP and adjunctive plasmapheresis are beneficial in the treatment of NMOSD-associated optic neuritis, with a shorter time-to-treatment associated with a higher likelihood of recovery. The natural history of untreated MOGAD-associated optic neuritis is unclear but treatment with IVMP is near-universal given phenotypic similarities with NMOSD. Long-term immunosuppressive therapy is warranted in patients with NMOSD as well as in patients with MOGAD with poor visual recovery or recurrent attacks.