Distinction of seropositive NMO spectrum disorder and MS brain lesion distribution

Lucy Matthews, Rita Marasco, Mark Jenkinson, Wilhelm Küker, Sebastian Luppe, Maria Isabel Leite, Antonio Giorgio, Nicola De Stefano, Neil Robertson, Heidi Johansen-Berg, Nikos Evangelou, Jacqueline Palace

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151 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Neuromyelitis optica and its spectrum disorder (NMOSD) can present similarly to relapsingremittingmultiple sclerosis (RRMS). Using a quantitative lesionmapping approach, this research aimed to identify differences in MRI brain lesion distribution between aquaporin-4 antibody-positive NMOSD and RRMS, and to test their diagnostic potential. Methods: Clinical brain MRI sequences for 44 patients with aquaporin-4 antibody-positive NMOSD and 50 patients with RRMS were examined for the distribution and morphology of brain lesions. T2 lesion maps were created for each subject allowing the quantitative comparison of the 2 conditions with lesion probability and voxel-wise analysis. Results: Sixty-three percent of patients with NMOSD had brain lesions and of these 27% were diagnostic of multiple sclerosis. Patients with RRMS were significantly more likely to have lesions adjacent to the body of the lateral ventricle than patientswith NMOSD. Direct comparison of the probability distributions and the morphologic attributes of the lesions in each group identified criteria of "at least 1 lesion adjacent to the body of the lateral ventricle and in the inferior temporal lobe; or the presence of a subcortical U-fiber lesion; or a Dawson's finger-type lesion," which could distinguish patients with multiple sclerosis from those with NMOSD with 92% sensitivity, 96% specificity, 98% positive predictive value, and 86% negative predictive value. Conclusion: Careful inspection of the distribution andmorphology ofMRI brain lesions can distinguish RRMS and NMOSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1330-1337
Number of pages8
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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