Optic neuritis is rare in children in comparison to adults, but accounts for approximately 25% of pediatric acute demyelinating syndromes. Features of pediatric optic neuritis that differ from adults include a higher rate of bilaterality, poor visual acuity on presentation, and papillitis. Diagnostic work-up includes brain magnetic resonance imaging, lumbar puncture, and blood tests to exclude infectious and inflammatory disorders. Pediatric optic neuritis may occur following infection or vaccination, or in association with a systemic demyelinating process such as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, neuromyelitis optica, or multiple sclerosis. Treatment is controversial, but most practitioners administer corticosteroids. Most children with optic neuritis experience full visual recovery. The recently launched Pediatric Optic Neuritis Prospective Data Collection Study (PON1) aims to provide estimates of visual acuity outcome and assess the potential to recruit for a future pediatric optic neuritis treatment trial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology