How do brain MRI findings of optic neuritis affect the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Pil (Peter) S Kang, MD; Chief Editor: James G Smirniotopoulos, MD  more...
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Information from brain MRI has a potential influence on treatment. It has been shown that in 2-year follow-up of patients with optic neuritis and 2 or more brain lesions on MRI scans, patients given intravenous methylprednisolone (as compared with placebo and oral prednisone groups) had a significantly decreased risk of developing MS. Note that this benefit was not maintained at 3 years. [25, 26]

In a study using interferon beta-1a (Avonex) in patients with optic neuritis with 2 or more white matter lesions on MRI scans of the brain, a decreased risk of developing MS at 3 years was demonstrated. In those patients who did ultimately develop MS, interferon beta-1a was shown to reduce the disease burden and number of active lesions. [27, 28]

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