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J Neurol Sci. 2013 Aug 15;331(1-2):72-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2013.05.012. Epub 2013 Jun 2.

Aquaporin-4 antibody negative recurrent isolated optic neuritis: clinical evidence for disease heterogeneity.

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  • 1Dept. of Neurology, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.


Recurrent optic neuritis is frequently observed in multiple sclerosis (MS) and is a typical finding in neuromyelitis optica (NMO). Patients that lack further evidence of demyelinating disease are diagnosed with RION (recurrent isolated optic neuritis) or CRION (chronic relapsing inflammatory neuropathy) if they require immunosuppressive therapy to prevent further relapses. The etiology and disease course of this rare condition are not well defined. We studied a series of 10 patients who presented with recurrent episodes of isolated optic neuritis (ON, n=57) and were followed over a median of 3.5 years. Visual acuity was severely reduced at the nadir of the disease (20/200 to 20/800). All patients had MRI non-diagnostic for MS/NMO and were aquaporin-4 antibody negative. Six patients fulfilled the CRION criteria. In two of these a single ON followed by a long disease-free interval preceded development of CRION for years, suggesting the conversion of an initially "benign" isolated ON into the chronic relapsing course. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis revealed mild pleocytosis in 5 patients, identical oligoclonal bands in serum and CSF were observed in 2 patients, while the others remained negative. In conclusion, recurrent ON is a disease entity that requires aggressive glucocorticoid and eventually long-term immunosuppressive therapy to prevent substantial visual impairment.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


CRION; Inflammatory neuropathy; Multiple sclerosis; Neuromyelitis optica; Optic neuritis; RION

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