Optic neuritis could lead to severe visual impairment despite corticosteroids. Our aim was to evaluate the rate of visual improvement in patients treated with plasma exchange (PLEX) for severe steroid unresponsive optic neuritis and to identify predictive factors of outcome. Thirty-four patients (41 optic nerves damaged) with remaining visual acuity of 0.1 or less despite steroid pulse therapy were treated with PLEX from September 2010 to May 2015. Demographic and clinical neuro-ophthalmic findings, and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography data before PLEX treatment were analyzed. The mean symptom duration before PLEX was 34.6 days (median 28 days; range 6–92 days). After PLEX, the median final visual acuity was 0.8 and in 56 % of cases, final acuity was 0.5 or better. Past history of ipsilateral optic neuritis was associated significantly with poor outcome defined as final acuity less than 0.5. No significant difference in the visual outcome after PLEX was found between multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica. In conclusion, this observational study showed that PLEX as second-line therapy led to a functionally important visual recovery in more than half patients with severe optic neuritis.

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To compare longitudinally extensive myelitis in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) and spinal cord sarcoidosis (SCS).

We identified adult patients evaluated between 1996 and 2015 with SCS or NMOSD whose first myelitis episode was accompanied by a spinal cord lesion spanning ≥3 vertebral segments. All NMOSD patients were positive for aquaporin-4–immunoglobulin G, and all sarcoidosis cases were pathologically confirmed. Clinical characteristics were evaluated. Spine magnetic resonance imaging was reviewed by 2 neuroradiologists.

We studied 71 patients (NMOSD, 37; SCS, 34). Sixteen (47%) SCS cases were initially diagnosed as NMOSD or idiopathic transverse myelitis. Median delay to diagnosis was longer for SCS than NMOSD (5 vs 1.5 months, p < 0.01). NMOSD myelitis patients were more commonly women, had concurrent or prior optic neuritis or intractable vomiting episodes more frequently, had shorter time to maximum deficit, and had systemic autoimmunity more often than SCS (p < 0.05). SCS patients had constitutional symptoms, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis, and hilar adenopathy more frequently than NMOSD (p < 0.05); CSF hypoglycorrhachia (11%, p = 0.25) and elevated angiotensin-converting enzyme (18%, p = 0.30) were exclusive to SCS. Dorsal cord subpial gadolinium enhancement extending ≥2 vertebral segments and persistent enhancement >2 months favored SCS, and ringlike enhancement favored NMOSD (p < 0.05). Maximum disability was similar in both disorders.

SCS is an under-recognized cause of longitudinally extensive myelitis that commonly mimics NMOSD. We identified clinical, laboratory, systemic, and radiologic features that, taken together, help discriminate SCS from NMOSD. ANN NEUROL 2016;79:437–447

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A new iOS app has been released on the App Store!

Cardio SCORE is dedicated to physicians involved in management of cardiovascular diseases. It contains several clinical tools and scores, as well as the SCORE Charts published by the European Society of Cardiology to assess global cardiovascular risk.

You can visit the app page on the App Store. More details coming soon!


Post-IV thrombolytic headaches don't seem to be associated with an increased risk of hemorrhagic transformation...


Headache during or soon after administration of IV tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is a concern for hemorrhagic transformation (HT). However, no data are available regarding the incidence of HT in these patients or the prognostic indication of these headaches. We examine the importance of tPA-associated headaches among AIS patients in terms of HT rates and clinical outcomes.

AIS patients treated with IV tPA at a comprehensive stroke center between January 2007 and November 2012 were retrospectively reviewed for documented tPA-associated headache in the first 24 hours post-tPA. We compared the headache and nonheadache groups for differences in various clinical and radiologic outcomes.

Of the 193 patients, 63 (32.6%) had tPA-associated headache. Headache patients (HP) were younger than nonheadache patients (NHP) (mean ± SD, 59.5 ± 17.4 years vs 69.9 ± 15.5 years, p < 0.0001), and 53% of HP were men, compared to 49.2% of NHP (p = 0.537). Comorbid conditions did not differ between the 2 groups. There were no statistical differences between HP and NHP in admission NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score (11.2 ± 5.7 vs 11.5 ± 5.5, p = 0.646), NIHSS score at 24 hours (6.5 ± 5.7 vs 7.4 ± 6.9, p = 0.466), NIHSS score at discharge (6.7 ± 10.1 vs 8.1 ± 11.6, p = 0.448), HT (12.7% vs 18.4%, p = 0.3), cervical artery dissection (4.7% vs 5.38%, p = 0.764), length of hospitalization (6.29 ± 5 days vs 6.35 ± 4.7 days, p = 0.935), and disposition.

tPA-associated headache does not predict increased risk of HT and has no other prognostic importance in patients with AIS. Prospective studies with a larger cohort may be needed to further explore this relationship.

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