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Clinical characteristics of patients presenting with the first-episode optic neuritis in a South Asian population: A study from Sri Lanka

Authors:

Padmini Dahanayake ,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya,20400, LK
About Padmini

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine

 

Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400

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Tharaka L. Dassanayake,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya,20400, LK
About Tharaka

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine

 

Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400

 

School of Psychology, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia

 

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Manoji Pathirage,

Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400, LK
About Manoji
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, 20400
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Saman Senanayake,

National Hospital, Kandy, 20000, LK
About Saman
Eye Unit
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Mike Sedgwick,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya,20400, LK
About Mike
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine
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Vajira S. Weerasinghe

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, 20400, LK
About Vajira

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine

 

Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400

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Abstract

The clinical profile of optic neuritis in caucasian European populations is well-documented, and those findings form the basis for current treatment strategies. Limited evidence from Asian samples suggests a lower prevalence of multiple sclerosis and a significant proportion of patients having bilateral optic neuritis. This study describes the clinical characteristics of optic neuritis in Sri Lankans, a South Asian population, and compares the clinical picture with those of other Asian and caucasian European populations.

 

We consecutively recruited 90 adults (age 18-75 years, 50 women) who presented with first-episode optic neuritis to a tertiary care ophthalmology centre in Sri Lanka. The clinical and ophthalmological findings are described.

 

The patients presented within a median of 5 (Interquartile range, IQR:2-10; range: 1-20) days following the onset of symptoms. Fifty-three (59%) patients had unilateral optic neuritis, and 37 (41%) had bilateral optic neuritis. In the total sample, 60% had peri-ocular pain and 67% had optic disc oedema. In the subsample with unilateral optic neuritis, 58% had peri-ocular pain, while 80% had optic disc oedema.

 

Our findings indicate that a significant proportion of first-episode optic neuritis is bilateral: a presentation common in Asia but rare in people of Caucasian European descent. Unilateral optic neuritis in Sri Lankans has a different presentation compared to the caucasian European population: peri-ocular pain is less common, but almost 4 in 5 patients had optic disc oedema. The significance of these differences in the diagnosis and management of patients is yet to be investigated. 

How to Cite: Dahanayake, P., Dassanayake, T.L., Pathirage, M., Senanayake, S., Sedgwick, M. and Weerasinghe, V.S., 2022. Clinical characteristics of patients presenting with the first-episode optic neuritis in a South Asian population: A study from Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura Medical Journal, 16(2), pp.19–28. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v16i2.7725
Published on 15 Jul 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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