Microstructural visual system changes in AQP4-antibody–seropositive NMOSD

IMSVISUAL members from Berlin and Munich in Germany have just published the following paper:

Oertel & Kuchling et al. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm May 2017 vol. 4 no. 3 e334


Objective: To trace microstructural changes in patients with aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-ab)-seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs) by investigating the afferent visual system in patients without clinically overt visual symptoms or visual pathway lesions.

Methods: Of 51 screened patients with NMOSD from a longitudinal observational cohort study, we compared 6 AQP4-ab–seropositive NMOSD patients with longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) but no history of optic neuritis (ON) or other bout (NMOSD-LETM) to 19 AQP4-ab–seropositive NMOSD patients with previous ON (NMOSD-ON) and 26 healthy controls (HCs). Foveal thickness (FT), peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness, and ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) thickness were measured with optical coherence tomography (OCT). Microstructural changes in the optic radiation (OR) were investigated using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Visual function was determined by high-contrast visual acuity (VA). OCT results were confirmed in a second independent cohort.

Results: FT was reduced in both patients with NMOSD-LETM (p = 3.52e−14) and NMOSD-ON (p = 1.24e−16) in comparison with HC. Probabilistic tractography showed fractional anisotropy reduction in the OR in patients with NMOSD-LETM (p = 0.046) and NMOSD-ON (p = 1.50e−5) compared with HC. Only patients with NMOSD-ON but not NMOSD-LETM showed neuroaxonal damage in the form of pRNFL and GCIPL thinning. VA was normal in patients with NMOSD-LETM and was not associated with OCT or DTI parameters.

Conclusions: Patients with AQP4-ab–seropositive NMOSD without a history of ON have microstructural changes in the afferent visual system. The localization of retinal changes around the Müller-cell rich fovea supports a retinal astrocytopathy.

Available as Open Access on the publisher’s website.

New publication from IMSVISUAL members – OCT in MOG

Pache & Zimmermann et al. just published a study investigating afferent visual system damage after optic neuritis in MOG-IgG-seropositive versus AQP4-IgG-seropositive patients. MOG-antibodies have recently been identified in a subgroup of patients with neuromyelitis optica and in patients with recurrent optic neuritis.

The paper has been published in Journal of Neuroinflammation 2016 13:282.

The study is part of a series of 4 papers describing different aspects of MOG-IgG in NMO and related disorders.

Part 1: Frequency, syndrome specificity, influence of disease activity, long-term course, association with AQP4-IgG, and origin
Part 2: Epidemiology, clinical presentation, radiological and laboratory features, treatment responses, and long-term outcome
Part 3: Brainstem involvement – frequency, presentation and outcome
Part 4: Afferent visual system damage after optic neuritis in MOG-IgG-seropositive versus AQP4-IgG-seropositive patients

New publication from IMSVISUAL members – OCT in NMOSD

Elena Martinez-Lapiscina and colleagues from Barcelona published a paper on the Usefulness of optical coherence tomography to distinguish optic neuritis associated with AQP4 or MOG in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.

The paper has just been published in Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2016 Sep; 9(5): 436–440.

It is available online on PubMed Central: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4994783/

Figure 1 from Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2016 Sep; 9(5): 436–440.