These studies were encouraged by the seminal work by Pittock and<

These studies were encouraged by the seminal work by Pittock and

colleagues who showed that, contrary to previous thinking, the majority of NMO patients (up to 60%) exhibit (mostly unspecific) lesions on serial cranial MRI during the course of the disease. Some of these lesions are typical of MS and may even fulfill the so-called ‘Barkhof criteria’ [1, 225]. Similar findings have been reported by other groups, with approximately 15% of patients fulfilling the Barkhof criteria [1, 226]. Thus, it is widely accepted nowadays that, although many patients have normal cranial MRI findings at disease onset, brain lesions – including even those resembling typical MS lesions – do not rule out an NMO diagnosis [227]. However, ultrahigh-field imaging studies reported that, in contrast to MS, NMO lesions do not typically show central veins and a hypointense rim and lack visible cortical lesions [228, 229]. This is in line with other imaging and neuropathological selleck compound reports that indicate the absence of cortical demyelination in NMO [63, 230, 231]. Brain lesions tend to be located at sites of high aquaporin-4 expression,

such as the diencephalon, the hypothalamus and the aqueduct [232-234], and may also appear large and oedematous in the corpus callosum [235, 236]. Contrast enhancement Selleckchem Y-27632 on brain MRI with a cloudlike shape and pencil-thin ependymal enhancement were reported to be typical of NMO [237, 238]. Recent diffusion, perfusion and brain volume

studies, including voxel-based morphometry, revealed diffuse and widespread white matter and grey matter alterations in NMO [239-243]. Thus, brain damage is probably more severe than can be estimated from conventional MR images. While there is now compelling evidence that AQP4-Ab-positive ‘Asian opticospinal MS’ (OSMS) is identical to Western NMO, a small proportion of Asian patients still cannot be easily classified as NMO or MS, e.g. seronegative patients presenting with LETM and a secondary progressive course or OSMS patients with LETM and peripheral spinal cord Aspartate lesions [244, 245]. However, re-evaluation using more up-to-date assays, together with strict MRI criteria distinguishing between confluent (as sometimes seen in MS) and contiguous (as typically seen in NMO) longitudinal lesions, may help to clarify the nosological status of those patients. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive technique by which unmyelinated retinal CNS axons (the so-called retinal nerve fibre layer RNFL) and their neurons, the retinal ganglion cells, can be visualized. Neuroaxonal retinal damage has been shown widely in MS and ON and is currently under investigation in many other neurological conditions [246-254]). In NMO, OCT studies have been consistent with the clinical experience of a more severe visual dysfunction and poorer visual outcome than for MS and more profound damage to the RNFL [246, 255-257].

Comments are closed.