: The clinical course of four patients with visual loss in the postpartum period due to acute optic neuritis is described. Factors that disclosed the underlying etiology and expression of disease are discussed. The clinical records of four women examined and managed for visual loss after uncomplicated pregnancies and term deliveries were reviewed. Neurodiagnostic examination, treatment modalities, and outcomes were assessed. These four women with varied and confounding medical histories, all with optic neuropathy, eventually were demonstrated to harbor demyelinating disease. Although visual loss in the postpartum period evokes differential diagnostic considerations, the authors' experience suggests that puerperal immune-mediated changes are responsible for activation of optic neuritis associated with relapsing multiple sclerosis.
(C) 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.