Modifications of longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis and brainstem lesions in the course of neuromyelitis optica (NMO): A population-based, descriptive study.

BMC Neurology (Impact Factor: 2.49). 04/2013; 13(1):33. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2377-13-33
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) includes transverse myelitis, optic neuritis and brain lesions. Recent studies have indicated that the brainstem is an important site of attack in NMO. Longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) is an important component of the clinical diagnosis of NMO. The frequency of brainstem and LETM lesions, changes over time of LETM and the clinical consequences in the course of NMO have only been sparsely studied. METHODS: The study was a population-based retrospective case series with clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) follow-up of 35 patients with definite NMO and a relapsing-remitting course. RESULTS: Brainstem lesions were observed in 25 patients, 18 in medulla oblongata (11 in area postrema). Lesions in the pons, mesencephalon and diencephalon occurred in 10, 7 and 7 patients, respectively. Lesions were symptomatic in medulla oblongata and pons, asymptomatic in mesencephalon and diencephalon. Brainstem lesions were observed significantly more often in anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) antibody positive than in seronegative patients (p < 0.002).LETM was demonstrated by MRI of the spinal cord in 30/36 patients, 23/30 of whom had follow-up MRI of the spinal cord. Recurrent LETM was observed in five patients. In nine patients the LETM changed into multiple lesions during remission or treatment. Spinal cord atrophy was observed in 12/23 (52%) patients, correlating to Expanded Disability Status Scale (r = 0.88, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: NMO patients had frequent occurrence of brainstem lesions and LETM. Brainstem lesions were associated with anti-AQP4 antibody positivity. LETM lesions differentiated over time and the outcome included relapses, fragmentation and atrophy. Correlation was observed between spinal cord atrophy and neurological disability.

Download full-text


Available from: Egon Stenager, Jul 02, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Brainstem involvement, especially the medulla oblongata (MO), has been reported in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs). The purpose of this study was to investigate retrospectively and compare clinical, laboratory, and imaging features of NMOSDs with and without MO lesions. A total of 170 patients with NMOSDs were enrolled, including 44 patients with MO lesions and 126 patients without MO lesions. Clinical features, laboratory tests, and magnetic resonance imaging findings among these patients were assessed. MO lesions were found in 25.9 % of the NMOSDs patients. The mean duration was 13 months. Patients with MO lesions had a higher Annualized relapse rate and Expanded Disability Status Score Scale. Headache, dizziness, nystagmus, dysarthria, intractable hiccup and nausea, choking cough or dysphagia, movement disorders, and neuropathic pain were more common in MO lesion patients. Patients with MO lesions were more frequently complicated with thyroid diseases. Multiple brain involvement, More importantly, Longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis were more frequently found in patients with MO lesions. MO lesions might be a symbol of more severe neurologic deficits and worse prognosis of NMOSDs.
    Journal of Neurology 03/2014; 261(5). DOI:10.1007/s00415-014-7298-7 · 3.84 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), or Devic's disease, is a rare demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system that has a predilection for the optic nerve and spinal cord. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is required to diagnose NMO. Longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis is NMO's imaging hallmark and the presence of a brain MRI that is not diagnostic of multiple sclerosis (MS) also remains part of the diagnostic criteria. It is increasingly recognised that MS and NMO brain imaging can, however, have similar appearances but differences do exist: hypothalamic, periaqueductal grey and area postrema lesions implicate NMO whilst cortical, U-fibre or Dawson's finger lesions are suggestive of MS. The timing of image acquisition, age, ethnicity and aquaporin-4 antibody status are all likely to alter the findings at MRI. This review therefore aims to overview and update the reader on NMO imaging, to provide clinically relevant guidance for diagnosing NMO and differentiating it from MS in order to guide management, and to highlight recent research insights.
    Multiple Sclerosis 05/2014; 20(9). DOI:10.1177/1352458514531087 · 4.86 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Since the discovery of aquaporin 4-IgG, a sensitive and highly specific biomarker of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a wide range of syndromes have been recognized as being associated with this condition. This observation has led to new proposed terminology for the entire disorder, NMO spectrum disorders (NMOSD). The discovery of a pathogenic autoantibody and its target antigen has also facilitated basic research into the immunopathogenesis of the disease. Key advances include establishment of passive transfer animal models demonstrating the pathogenic potential of the autoantibody and confirming an important role of complement suggested by immunopathology of NMO brain lesions and of B-cell subsets, plasmablasts in particular. These discoveries have led to phase 1 clinical trials of targeted immunotherapy with potential for improved efficacy and less toxicity than current empiric immunosuppressant medications used to treat NMOSD. Randomized clinical trials are beginning to assess the efficacy and safety of a variety of immunotherapies in NMOSD. Therapeutic options are likely to increase, and improved outcomes in NMOSD patients are anticipated.
    Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports 09/2014; 14(9):483. DOI:10.1007/s11910-014-0483-3 · 3.67 Impact Factor