Controversies in common optic neuropathies

November 16, 2003

Typical optic neuritis, which presents with unilateral painful loss ofvision, is the most common optic neuropathy in young predominantly femalepatients. What is being recognized increasingly is that optic neuritis maybe the first indication of multiple sclerosis (MS). David Kaufmann, DO,of East Lansing, MI, noted that magnetic resonance imaging is the most importantdiagnostic tool and ophthalmologists are on the frontline of diagnosis ofMS. Research indicates that the 10-year risk of developing MS in all patientsis 38%; the risk in the presence of a normal MRI is 22%; in patients withone or more baseline lesions, the risk of MS is 56%.