Long-term MRI findings in neuromyelitis optica: seropositive versus seronegative patients

In this study from Turkey, the researchers looked at the long-term MRI characteristics of seropositive and seronegative neuromyelitis optica (NMO) patients and considered the possible overlap with MS. The study recorded the clinical and radiological characteristics of 28 NMO patients at disease onset, and of 17 NMO patients with an average follow-up time of 9 years. 50% of the patients were seropositive for AQP4-Ab.

They found that significantly more patients in the seronegative group had brain lesions at onset, while the spinal lesions of seropositive patients were longer and showed increased cord swelling at onset. However, the differences between both groups disappeared over time with the seropositive group developing brain lesions at follow-up. None of the seronegative group fulfilled the radiological MS criteria on a long-term basis. Therefore seronegative NMO constitutes an independent entity.

Authors: Kıyat-Atamer A, Ekizoğlu E, Tüzün E

Source: Eur J Neurol. 2012 Dec 25. [Epub ahead of print]

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