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Korean J Ophthalmol. 2012 Apr;26(2):111-5. doi: 10.3341/kjo.2012.26.2.111. Epub 2012 Mar 22.

Clinical characteristics of optic neuritis in Koreans greater than 50 years of age.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



To report clinical characteristics of optic neuritis (ON) in Koreans >50 years of age.


A retrospective chart review was performed on patients with ON between January 2000 and December 2009. We obtained the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), Goldmann perimetry, relative afferent pupillary defect (RAPD), and color function tests as well as brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in patients who were in the acute stage of the disorder.


Nine eyes in eight patients were included. The mean age of patients at presentation was 60.5 years (range, 53 to 71 years). Six patients were female, and two were male. There was one patient with bilateral ON. The mean BCVA at presentation was 20 / 400 (no light perception-20 / 70). Eight eyes (89%) complained of pain with eye movement. Six eyes (66%) had disc edema. Central scotoma was the most common field defect. All eyes had color abnormalities. Five eyes in four patients showed abnormalities of the involved optic nerves on MRI. The patients were followed for a mean of 11.3 months (range, 2 to 34 months). All of the patients recovered to a BCVA of 20 / 40 or better within 2 months. On the last follow-up, the mean BCVA was 20 / 20 (20 / 40 to 20 / 16). Four eyes showed remnant central scotoma. One eye had remnant RAPD, and two eyes had mild color abnormalities.


Although ON is uncommon in elderly patients, it can develop in patients >50 years of age, and clinical features of optic neuritis in elderly patients are similar to those of younger patients.


Acute optic neuropathy; Elderly patients; Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy; Optic neuritis; Visual recovery

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