Acute Bilateral Simultaneous Optic Neuritis

Charles E. Maxner, Kevin M. Ramsey


Background:  Acute bilateral simultaneous optic neuritis (ABSON) without a prior neurological history is a rare clinical problem, and little is known about its prognosis for visual recovery and for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).  Methods:  We conducted a case review of six patients who presented with ABSON from 1986-98, and did a follow-up on their present medical status.  The results were compared to similar case reviews, and to the unilateral Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial.  Results:  All six patients went on to recover normal vision.  One of the six patients (16.7%) reviewed went on to develop probable MS.  Interpretation:  This low association with MS is in agreement with other case reports of ABSON.  ABSON appears to have a significantly better prognosis for not developing neurological disease than unilateral optic neuritis.  In particular, patients with ABSON without associated systemic symotoms tend to recover quickly to normal health.

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