Recently, antibodies to myelin oligodendrocyte
glycoprotein (MOG) have been identified in a subset of patients with seronegative NMOSD [194-197]; the pathogenic, prognostic selleck products and therapeutic relevance of these antibodies is currently being investigated. Moreover, anti-CV2/CRMP5 and, possibly, NMDA receptor autoimmunity have been shown to mimic NMO in single patients [198, 199]. In addition, connective tissue disorders (CTD), in particular systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren’s syndrome, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of NMOSD in some patients [64, 65, 67]. A broad summary of the differential diagnosis of NMO is provided in the reference list [200-202]. It should be kept in mind that a lack of NMO-IgG/AQP4-antibody seropositivity does not rule out a diagnosis of NMO, according to the currently most widely adopted
diagnostic criteria . As will be discussed in the following sections, CSF analysis and spinal cord and brain imaging can facilitate the differential diagnosis of seronegative NMO and MS. CSF findings in NMO and MS differ markedly. CSF-restricted oligoclonal bands (OCB), a diagnostic mainstay in MS, are present in only approximately 18% of AQP4-antibody-positive cases and frequently disappear during remission [1, 165]. Similarly, quantitative evidence for intrathecal IgG synthesis, i.e. an elevated IgG CSF/serum ratio, is only present in approximately 8% of CSF samples and exclusively during relapse . By contrast, OCB Lumacaftor mouse are present in far more than 90% of cases in classical MS [203, 204] and can be detected over the entire course of the disease . A positive, polyspecific, intrathecal immune reaction to measles, rubella and varicella zoster virus (also termed MRZ reaction Vitamin B12 [206-208]) – as defined by at least two out of three positive antibody indices – is present in 60–80% of MS patients, but absent in approximately 97% of NMO patients [1, 209].
CSF white cell counts (WCC) are often normal or only mildly elevated in NMO (median 19/μl during acute disease, 3/μl during remission ). However, cell counts >100/μl are possible [1, 165], especially during relapse . In addition to lymphocytes and monocytes, cytology often reveals neutrophilic and eosinophilic granulocytes [1, 36, 165], cell types which are usually absent in MS. An elevated albumin CSF/serum ratio, indicating blood–CSF barrier (BCB) disruption, and an increase in total protein is present in approximately 50% of cases, more often during acute attacks. CSF lactate levels are elevated during acute myelitis in approximately 40%, but normal during remission [165, 210].