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Lim SA, Goh KY, Tow S, Fu E, Wong TY, Seah A, Tan C, Cullen JF
Correspondence: Dr James F Cullen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Optic neuritis (ON) is the commonest optic neuropathy encountered in the younger group of patients from the Singapore Neuro-Ophthalmology Study Group. Previous surveys in Asia and our study suggest that ON in Singapore differs from that in Western populations where the majority of cases are associated with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Methods Patients satisfying our entry criteria for ON seen between September 2002 and June 2004 were enrolled in the study. The data collected was recorded in a central database and analysed two years later.
Results The majority (60 percent) of our patients had anterior ON with optic disc swelling (papillitis), were idiopathic in 49.1 percent, and associated with MS in only 25.5 percent. Bilateral cases comprised 16.4 percent of our series and were usually of the anterior variety and mostly idiopathic, although it is still essential to rule out secondary causes. Recurrent ON is indicative of an underlying disease process.
Conclusion The pattern of ON as seen in Singapore differs from that reported in Caucasian studies and from the seminal Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial. We found a higher incidence of optic disc swelling, i.e. anterior ON (papillitis), and a lesser association with MS; visual recovery is similarly good but our recurrence rate is lower.
Keywords: optic disc swelling, idiopathic optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, papillitis, retrobulbar optic neuritis
Singapore Med J. 2008; 49(9): 667-71