Purpose. Although optic neuritis (ON) in children is relatively common, visual outcomes and factors associated with the condition have not been well documented. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features and visual outcomes of ON in Chinese children. Methods. Patients with a first episode of ON at a tertiary neuroophthalmic centre in China were assessed and followed up for at least three months. Visual outcomes and clinical, laboratory, and neuroimaging findings were reviewed. In patients with bilateral ON, only the eyes with worse visual acuity (VA) at presentation were used for statistical analysis. Results. Seventy-six children (76 eyes) with a first episode of ON were included. The mean age was 11.8 years, 60.5% were females, and 48.7% had bilateral involvement. The children were followed up for an average of 18.5 months (age range, 3-48 months). Vision loss at presentation was severe, with VA < 20/200 in 37 eyes (48.7%). At the final visit, 3 (3.9%) eyes had VA of at least 20/20, and 41 (53.9%) eyes had VA of at least 20/40. The final VA in 35 eyes (46.1%) was worse than 20/40. Children aged ≤ 10 years had better predicted visual outcomes when compared to children over 10 years (odds ratio = 2.73, 95% confidential interval: 1.05-7.07, and P = 0.039). The other features of this cohort, such as sex, experienced bilateral attack, VA at presentation, presence of optic disc edema, systemic diseases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, and aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) antibody status, were not significantly correlated with the final visual outcome. Conclusion. The data revealed the clinical characteristics and visual outcomes of ON in Chinese children. ON in children was associated with severe vision loss and relatively good visual recovery. The age at onset could predict the final visual function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas