Clinical differences between young and older patients with optic neuritis

Wenjing Luo, Qiu-Shui Huang, Jian-Feng He, Min Han, Bo Liu, Yi Du


Background: To compare clinical features in young (18–44 years) and older patients (>44 years) with optic neuritis (ON).
Methods: This is a retrospective case series study. One hundred thirty-three young cases and 51 older cases diagnosed with ON were reviewed.
Results: The older patients had lower proportion of disc swelling (37.3% vs. 57.1%, P=0.016), but higher proportion of brain plaques (21.6% vs. 7.5%, P=0.007) compared with the young patients. The proportion of patients suffered from hypertension or hyperglycemia was nearly 6 times higher in the older patients than in the young patients (29.4% vs. 5.3%, P<0.001). There were no significant differences in other clinical parameters [including gender, eye pain, clinical evidence of multiple sclerosis and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA)] between the older and young patients.
Conclusions: There are some distinct differences between young patients (18–44 years) and older patients (>44 years). Physicians should pay attention to the side effects of corticosteroids in elderly patients in clinical practice, although they are generally safe.