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Infectious optic neuropathy (ION), how to recognise it and manage it.

Eye 2024 June 4
Optic neuropathy can be of infectious or non-infectious/idiopathic aetiology. Many infectious organisms can cause optic neuropathy that can be of varied presentation including papillitis, retrobulbar optic neuritis, neuroretinitis, and optic perineuritis. Detailed history, ocular, systemic/neurologic examination along with appropriate laboratory evaluation can help clinicians to identify the infectious agent causing optic neuropathy. In spite of recent advanced techniques in serological testing and molecular diagnostics like polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the identification of these pathogens is still a diagnostic challenge. It is ideal to have an infectious disease (ID) consultant in the management team, as most of these infections are multisystem involving diseases. Most infectious agents can be effectively treated with specific antibiotics, with or without corticosteroid therapy, but visual recovery is highly variable and depends entirely on early diagnosis of the causative agent. This review article will provide an overview of common pathogens involved in ION and will describe their management paradigms.

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