- F.C. Oertel
- H.G. Zimmermann
- A.U. Brandt
- F. Paul
- Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics
- Expert Rev Neurother 19 (1): 31-43
INTRODUCTION: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common chronic autoimmune neuroinflammatory condition in young adults. It is often accompanied by optic neuritis (ON) and retinal neuro-axonal damage causing visual disturbances. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a sensitive non-invasive method for quantifying intraretinal layer volumes. Recently, OCT not only showed to be a reliable marker for ON-associated damage, but also proved its high prognostic value for functional outcome and disability accrual in patients with MS. Consequently, OCT is discussed as a potential marker for monitoring disease severity and therapeutic response in individual patients. AREAS COVERED: This article summarizes our current understanding of structural retinal changes in MS and describes the future potential of OCT for differential diagnosis, monitoring of the disease course and for clinical trials. EXPERT COMMENTARY: Today, OCT is used in clinical practice in specialized MS centers. Standardized parameters across devices are urgently needed for supporting clinical utility. Novel parameters are desirable to increase sensitivity and specificity in terms of MS.