Optic Neuritis in Southeast Asia: a Different Pattern of Disease
This review evaluates a number of recent studies on optic neuritis carried out in Singapore. In Singapore, and probably throughout Asia, the disease is more likely to be of the anterior variety with optic disc swelling, and is sometimes associated with an underlying infective process such as syphilis or tuberculosis, or is of an autoimmune aetiology. Most cases of optic neuritis seen in Singapore are idiopathic; multiple sclerosis is rarely seen in the region, but is likely to be found only in patients with retrobulbar optic neuritis. The 4-year risk for patients in Singapore developing multiple sclerosis is only 9.1% compared with the higher figures reported from the seminal Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial. The usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging in the management of optic neuritis in Singapore is reported.