Patients with optic neuritis related to neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) have more severe axonal damage and worse axonal recovery compared to those with idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis, found a new study published in BMC Ophthalmology.  

The researchers also reported that visual evoked potential elicited by smaller check size is more sensitive to visual pathway abnormality in NMOSD-related optic neuritis.

To explore the different patterns of visual evoked potential in NMOSD-related or idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis, a team of researchers led by Hui Yang from the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, conducted a longitudinal, prospective, case-control study.


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The researchers recruited 84 patients with acute optic neuritis. Of these, 26 had optic neuritis related to NMOSD, while 58 had idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis. 

They found that patients who had NMOSD-related optic neuritis had a more severe reduction in the amplitude of the visual evoked potential within 15’ check at 6 months compared to those with idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis. 

However, patients with idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis had normal visual evoked potential response more frequently at 3 months. They also had only prolonged P100 peak latency with normal amplitude at 3 and 6 months and only prolonged P100 peak latency with normal amplitude at 6 months.

There were no significant differences in visual evoked potential parameters between the 2 groups at 1, 3, or 6 months within 60’ checks.

The researchers concluded that visual evoked potential was more abnormal in patients with NMOSD-related optic neuritis than those with idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis, suggesting more severe axonal damage along the optic nerve. 

Based on the results of the follow-up analysis, the researchers concluded that patients with NMOSD-related optic neuritis had worse recovery compared to the others. 

Finally, they said that a small check size was more sensitive to detecting abnormality in NMOSD-related optic neuritis compared to large check size.

Reference

Zheng C, Wang L, Xu X, et al. Different visual evoked potentials in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder-related optic neuritis and idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis: a prospective longitudinal analysis. BMC Ophthalmol. 2022;21;22(1):376. doi:10.1186/s12886-022-02595-5