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August 1988

The Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial

Author Affiliations

Tampa, Fla

Arch Ophthalmol. 1988;106(8):1051-1053. doi:10.1001/archopht.1988.01060140207023

For almost 40 years, neuro-ophthalmologists have debated the efficacy of corticosteroids as a treatment for optic neuritis. Several studies have investigated corticosteroid and corticotrophin treatment in optic neuritis, but all have been inconclusive because of either small sample size or poor design.1-3 Today we are no more certain of the benefit of treatment than we were in the 1950s, and the treatment of optic neuritis remains one of the most controversial areas in neuro-ophthalmology. To resolve this issue, the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial (ONTT) was developed. Support for this study comes from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. This study represents the first multicenter collaborative clinical trial in neuroophthalmology funded by the NEI.

WHY IS A TREATMENT TRIAL NEEDED?  Currently, there are no established guidelines to follow in deciding on treatment for a patient with optic neuritis. Whether or not a patient

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