Optic Neuritis Associated or Not with TNF Antagonists in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Benjamin Alexandre, Yves Vandermeeren, Olivier Dewit, Tom Moreels, Nanne de Boer, Anjan Dhar, Chris Ziady, Ariella Bar-Gil Shitrit, Flavio Steinwurz, Njegica Jojic, Giuseppe Costantino, Benoit Bihin, Jean-François Rahier, Konstantinos H Katsanos, ECCO CONFER investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Acute optic neuritis [ON] is an inflammatory condition affecting the optic nerve. Clinicians should suspect optic neuritis in cases of painful and rapidly progressive loss of central visual field. This condition may be associated with a multitude of diseases, and mostly with multiple sclerosis [MS] where it may present as an initial symptom. The literature reports that optic neuritis and MS occur in patients with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] before and after the era of anti-tumour necrosis factor-α [TNFα] drugs. At the present moment, there is little consensus for managing this complication, currently treated with corticosteroids and discontinuation of the causative agents.

METHODS: We collected cases through a retrospective multicentre European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation CONFER [COllaborative Network For Exceptionally Rare case reports] project. We also performed a comprehensive retrospective search of the available literature on this topic.

RESULTS: We report herein 12 new cases of ON, including 10 under anti-TNF therapy, collected through the CONFER project. We also compare characteristics of ON associated or not with anti-TNFα agents.

CONCLUSIONS: The exceptional and current observation of distant family history of MS in 17% of our patients who developed ON, despite the small number and the lack of a control arm, might be an important signal that should be taken into account in our therapeutic strategies in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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