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December 1949


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1949;42(6):768-775. doi:10.1001/archopht.1949.00900050779006

THE PURPOSE of this report is to present the clinical findings in a typical case of optic neuroencephalomyelopathy (neuromyelitis optica) with corroborative pathologic studies. This syndrome was first described by Allbutt1 in 1870 but was so well summarized and analyzed by Devic2 in 1894 that it is usually associated with his name. It consists of bilateral optic or retrobulbar neuritis and ascending myelitis manifested by paraplegia of the upper motor neuron type, which is commonly preceded by sensory disturbances. As pointed out in the standard textbooks of neurology and in a recent and excellent review of the literature by Silbermann,3 this condition must be differentiated from the more acute encephalomyelitis arising spontaneously or after acute infections, from encephalitis periaxialis diffusa (Schilder's disease), which occurs in infancy and in childhood, and from the more chronic and relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Often called diffuse myelitis with optic neuritis, neuromyelitis optica,

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