Rapid Administration of High-Dose Intravenous Methylprednisolone Improves Visual Outcomes After Optic Neuritis in Patients With AQP4-IgG-Positive NMOSD

Tetsuya Akaishi, Takayuki Takeshita, Noriko Himori, Toshiyuki Takahashi, Tatsuro Misu, Ryo Ogawa, Kimihiko Kaneko, Juichi Fujimori, Michiaki Abe, Tadashi Ishii, Kazuo Fujihara, Masashi Aoki, Toru Nakazawa, Ichiro Nakashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to elucidate the rapid impact of high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy (1,000 mg/day for 3 days) on the eventual visual prognosis in patients with serum anti-aquaporin-4 immunoglobulin G (AQP4-IgG)–positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs) who had an attack of optic neuritis (ON). Methods: Data from 32 consecutive NMOSD patients (1 male and 31 female) with at least one ON attack, involving a total of 36 ON-involved eyes, were evaluated. The following variables at ON onset were evaluated: sex, age at the first ON episode, visual acuity at nadir, visual acuity after 1 year, duration from ON onset to treatment for an acute ON attack, cycles of high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy for the ON attack, and cycles of plasmapheresis for the ON attack. Among the 36 ON-involved eyes, 27 eyes were studied using orbital MRI with a short-T1 inversion recovery sequence and gadolinium-enhanced fat-suppressed T1 imaging before starting treatment in the acute phase. Results: In univariate analyses, a shorter duration from ON onset to the initiation of high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy favorably affected the eventual visual prognosis 1 year later (Spearman's rho = 0.50, p = 0.0018). The lesion length on orbital MRI was also correlated with the eventual visual prognosis (rho = 0.68, p < 0.0001). Meanwhile, the days to steroid pulse therapy and lesion length on orbital MRI did not show a significant correlation. These findings suggest that the rapidness of steroid pulse therapy administration affects the eventual visual prognosis independent of the severity of ON. In multivariate analysis, a shorter time from ON onset to the start of acute treatment (p = 0.0004) and a younger age at onset (p = 0.0071) were significantly associated with better visual outcomes. Conclusions: Rapid initiation of high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy is essential to preserve the eventual visual acuity in patients with serum AQP4-IgG-positive NMOSD. Once clinicians suspect acute ON with serum AQP4-IgG, swift administration of steroid pulse therapy before confirming the positivity of serum AQP4-IgG would be beneficial for preserving visual function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number932
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep 2

Keywords

  • neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders
  • optic neuritis
  • steroid pulse therapy
  • timing
  • visual prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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