OBJECTIVE: To establish whether children with relapsing acquired demyelinating syndromes (RDS) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies (MOG-Ab) show distinctive clinical and radiologic features and to generate a diagnostic algorithm for the main RDS for clinical use.
METHODS: A panel reviewed the clinical characteristics, MOG-Ab and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) Ab, intrathecal oligoclonal bands, and Epstein-Barr virus serology results of 110 children with RDS. A neuroradiologist blinded to the diagnosis scored the MRI scans. Clinical, radiologic, and serologic tests results were compared.
RESULTS: The findings showed that 56.4% of children were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), 25.4% with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), 12.7% with multiphasic disseminated encephalomyelitis (MDEM), and 5.5% with relapsing optic neuritis (RON). Blinded analysis defined baseline MRI as typical of MS in 93.5% of children with MS. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis presentation was seen only in the non-MS group. Of NMOSD cases, 30.7% were AQP4-Ab positive. MOG-Ab were found in 83.3% of AQP4-Ab-negative NMOSD, 100% of MDEM, and 33.3% of RON. Children with MOG-Ab were younger, were less likely to present with area postrema syndrome, and had lower disability, longer time to relapse, and more cerebellar peduncle lesions than children with AQP4-Ab NMOSD. A diagnostic algorithm applicable to any episode of CNS demyelination leads to 4 main phenotypes: MS, AQP4-Ab NMOSD, MOG-Ab-associated disease, and antibody-negative RDS.
CONCLUSIONS: Children with MS and AQP4-Ab NMOSD showed features typical of adult cases. Because MOG-Ab-positive children showed notable and distinctive clinical and MRI features, they were grouped into a unified phenotype (MOG-Ab-associated disease), included in a new diagnostic algorithm.