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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 472790, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/472790
Review Article

Optical Coherence Tomography in Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica: An Update

1Ophthalmology Department, Hospital La Paz/Autónoma University School of Medicine, IdiPAZ, Madrid, Spain
2Ophthalmology Department, Clinica Rementería, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain
3Ophthalmology Department, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
4Neurology Department, Hospital La Paz/Autónoma University School of Medicine, IdiPAZ, Madrid, Spain
5Hospital La Paz/Autónoma University School of Medicine, IdiPAZ, Madrid, Spain
6Ophthalmology Department, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Alcalá de Henares University, IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain

Received 31 October 2010; Accepted 5 April 2011

Academic Editor: Helmut Butzkueven

Copyright © 2011 Susana Noval et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) uses light interference patterns to produce a cross-sectional image of the retina. It is capable of measuring the unmyelinated axons of the retinal ganglionar cells as they converge on the optic disc. In a disease like multiple sclerosis (MS), in which axonal loss has been identified as an important cause of sustained disability, it may prove an invaluable tool. OCT has demonstrated that axonal loss occurs after each episode of optic neuritis and that the degree of axonal loss is correlated to visual outcomes. Furthermore, axonal loss occurs in MS even in the absence of inflammatory episodes, and the degree of this loss is correlated with the duration of the disease process, with more thinning as the disease advances and in progressive forms. Thus, OCT retinal nerve fiber layer measurements may represent an objective outcome measure with which to evaluate the effect of treatment.