Role of Erythropoietin in Treatment of Methanol Optic Neuropathy

Methanol poisoning can cause an optic neuropathy that is usually severe and irreversible and often occurs after ingestion of illicit or homemade alcoholic beverages.

In a study by Pakdel et al, 16 patients with methanol optic neuropathy were treated with intravenous erythropoietin as a neuroprotective agent. The investigators concluded that this agent can improve visual acuity in these patients and may represent a promising treatment for this disorder. Recently, as an interesting and hopefully report, Nekoueifard and Majidi, treated 3 patients of methanol optic neuropathy with low dose of subcutaneous erythropoietin. At first, the visual acuity in these patients were detected as light perception and after the treatment, it was increased significantly.   

According to these mentioned studies and the other similar articles, we need more investigations to evaluate the efficacy of erythropoietin for methanol intoxication, especially in patients with visual complains. So, erythropoietin can make a shiny horizon for treatment of visual impairment in cases of methanol optic neuropathy.



1. Pakdel F, Sanjari MS, Naderi A, Pirmarzdashti N, Haghighi A, Kashkouli MB. Erythropoietin in Treatment of Methanol Optic Neuropathy. J Neuroophthalmol. 2018 Jun;38(2):167-171. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000000614. PMID: 29300238.

2. Nekoueifard S, Majidi M. Subcutaneous Erythropoietin Reverses Optic Neuropathy Induced by Methanol Poisoning: Three Case Reports. IJT. 2020; 14 (3) :187-192.





Amin Zand, MD 

Eye Research Center, The Five Senses Institute, Rassoul Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Iranian Research Association for Vision and Ophthalmology