1 August 2002
Multiple Sclerosis, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 339-342(4)
Hickman SJ; Brierley CMH; Brex PA; MacManus DG; Scolding NJ; Compston DAS; Miller DH
 NMR Research Unit, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG, UK  Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2PY, UK  Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol BS16 1LE, UK
To investigate optic neuritis as a model for atrophy in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions we performed serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 10 patients with a history of optic neuritis using a fat saturated short-echo fast fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (sTE fFLAIR) sequence.
The first study was performed a median of 19.5 months after the onset of optic neuritis and the second 1 year later.
Using a computer-assisted contouring technique, a blinded observer calculated the mean area of the intra-orbital optic nerves.
The mean area of affected optic nerves decreased over 1 year by 0.9 mm2 from 11.1 to 10.2 mm2 (p=0.01).
Poor visual acuity and decreased visual-evoked potential (VEP) amplitude were associated with atrophy.
These findings suggest that atrophy is a feature of focal demyelinating lesions, it may evolve over several years, and may have functional significance.
Optic neuritis provides a model to study the effect of inflammatory demyelination through the ability to accurately measure visual function and to visualize and measure the optic nerves using magnetic resonance imaging.
© 2002 ingenta