We appreciate having the opportunity to respond to the thoughtful comments of Drs Slavin and Burde. As will be evident from our discussion below, dissemination of our results in a timely and appropriate manner was given considerable deliberation by the study investigators as well as the National Eye Institute (NEI), which funded the ONTT.A preliminary analysis of the data showing a potential beneficial treatment effect was reviewed by the study's executive committee in November 1992. The committee recognized that, if true, the findings were very important. However, they recognized that the interpretation was complicated because, although the assessment of MS was a preplanned objective of the study, the study design was primarily developed to assess visual recovery.Over the next several months, measures were taken to evaluate potential sources of bias, confounding, and data errors as possible explanations for the apparent treatment effect, including (1) the review
Beck RW. Prepublication Blackout in the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial-Reply. Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(5):582. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090170025011
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