Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 188, Issue 1, pp 277–282 | Cite as

Management of optic neuritis in Ireland: a survey comparing the management practices of acute demyelinating optic neuritis amongst ophthalmologists and neurologists in Ireland

  • Lina KobayterEmail author
  • Shivona Chetty
Original Article



Acute optic neuritis (ON) is often the first manifestation of multiple sclerosis which is particularly common in Ireland. Despite the specific clinical details regarding investigations and management of ON provided by the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial (ONTT), international surveys have shown that there are still notable differences in the management of ON between neurologists and ophthalmologists.


To compare the investigation and treatment of acute optic neuritis between ophthalmologists and neurologists in Ireland


A survey consisting of a case scenario and questions regarding treatment and investigations of a patient with ON was emailed to ophthalmology consultants, trainees and medical ophthalmologists registered with the Irish College of Ophthalmologists and to neurology consultants and registrars registered with the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience.


One hundred sixty recipients responded out of 350 (46%). The majority of the neurologists would initiate steroid treatment regardless of the patient’s vision (75%), treat with 1 g IV methylprednisolone (100%) for 5 days (57%), perform an MRI brain and orbits with contrast (92%) and multiple laboratory tests (96%). In contrast, the ophthalmologists tended to initiate treatment depending on the patient’s vision (48%), treat with 1 g IV methylprednisolone (97%) for 3 days instead of 5 days (93%), perform MRI brain and orbits with contrast (73%) and favour electrophysiology testing (73%) over laboratory testing (68%).


Overall, most respondents would follow the ONTT guidelines regarding IV methylprednisolone. There was a significant difference in responses between the ophthalmologists and neurologists regarding who to treat, duration of treatment and appropriate investigations.


Demyelination Ireland Multiple sclerosis Optic neuritis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study and identifiable data remained anonymous throughout the study.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ophthalmology DepartmentSligo University HospitalSligoIreland

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