Pan African Medical Journal

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The role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Visual Evoked Potential in management of optic neuritis

Suha Mikail Al-Eajailat, Mousa Victor Al-Madani Senior


Introduction: To report our experience in management of patients with optic neuritis. The effects of brain magnetic resonance imaging and visual evoked potential on management were investigated. Methods: This is a four years clinical trial that included patients presenting with first attack of optic neuritis older than 16 years with visual acuity of less than 6/60 and presentation within first week of illness. Brain  magnetic resonance imaging and visual evoked potentials were done for all patients. Patients were classified into three groups. First group received placebo, second received oral steroids and third received intravenous and oral steroids. Primary outcome measure was improvement in vi sual acuity.

Results: A total number of 150 patients were enrolled in the study. Ocular pain was seen 127 patients Relative  afferent pupillary defect in 142 patients and color vision impairment in 131 patients. Abnormal MRI  findings were seen in 84 patients. Pattern reversal VEP was abnormal in all patients. Using oral or intravenous steroid resulted in faster recovery but did not affect the final visual outcome. Recurrence rate was higher in patients with multiple MRI lesions and diminished VEP  amplitude. Using intravenous steroids decreased recurrence rate in patients with three and more MRI lesions and non recordable VEP response.

Conclusion: MRI and pattern reversal VEP are recommended to be done in all patients presenting with optic neuritis. We advise to give intravenous methyl prednisolone in patients with multiple MRI white matter lesions and non recordable VEP at presentation.

Key words: Optic neuritis, steroids, recurrence, visual evoked potential
AJOL African Journals Online