Magnetic resonance imaging, evoked responses and cerebrospinal fluid findings in a follow-up study of children with optic neuritis

R Riikonen, L Ketonen, J Sipponen
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 1988, 77 (1): 44-9
Fourteen patients with previous optic neuritis (ON) in childhood were examined by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging from two months to 14 years after the onset of symptoms. Five patients had a single monosymptomatic course of ON but 7 developed multiple sclerosis (MS); 2 had another demyelinating disease. Eight patients had high signal intensity areas in the T2 weighted images compatible with MS plaques in MR scan; 2 with monosymptomatic ON, 5 with MS and one with another demyelinating disease. The plaques were periventricular or in the optic radiation. The plaques could already be seen during the first symptoms of ON. All 7 MS patients had abnormal visual evoked response, 3/4 abnormal somatosensory evoked response and 5/6 intrathecal immunoglobulin production, when examined at onset of optic neuritis or at follow-up. All patients except one, with lesions in MR, had either oligoclonal CSF antibodies or Dr2 HLA antigen. We suggest that MR is a very sensitive test showing MR abnormalities in children with ON. It is an important tool in the early assessment of MS.

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