Clinical, neuroimaging and therapeutic response in AQP4-positive NMO patients from India.


Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India.. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) is an autoimmune astrocytopathic disorder due to AQP4 antibodies.
OBJECTIVE : To analyse clinical, neuroimaging features in NMO patients and assess the efficacy of various therapeutics.
METHODS : AQP4+ve NMO patients were diagnosed based on consensus diagnostic criteria.
RESULTS : 101 AQP4+ve NMO patients were seen with female (90) predominance. Adult population (71.3%) formed the larger group followed by pediatric (19.8%) and late-onset (8.9%). Myelopathy (36.2%) was most commonly seen followed by optic neuritis (19.1%), brainstem (17.1%), opticomyelopathy (16.1%), area postrema involvement (10.5%) and encephalopathy (1%). Encephalopathy and brainstem/cerebellar involvement were most common in pediatric population while opticomyelopathy was more common in late-onset patients. Hyperintensities of lower medulla was seen in 67.3% subjects and 49.5% had involvement of obex. Differential T2 hyperintensity of the long segment myelitis was found in 30.7%. Plasmapheresis was given in 71 subjects followed by maintenance therapy. Most of them showed significant improvement with EDSS score of 1 in 30.7%.
CONCLUSIONS : Clinical manifestations in AQP4+ve NMO patients may vary depending on the age at onset of illness. MRI features affecting cervicomedullary junction, obex, differential T2 hyperintensities of the spinal cord may form a useful diagnostic clue. Plasmapheresis is helpful in achieving remission along with immunomodulation.


Cervico-medullary junction,Mycophenolate mofetil,NMO,Neuromyelitis optica,Obex,Plasmapheresis,Rituximab,