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Oligoclonal bands, age 11–17 years, occipital lesion, and female sex differentiate pediatric multiple sclerosis from acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: A nationwide cohort study

      Highlights

      • Scoring at least 3 points best distinguished MS from ADEM: presence of CSF-specific oligoclonal bands (2 points), occipital lesion (1 point), age 11–17 years (1 point), female sex (1 point).
      • Criteria with only MRI features had good but poorer performance than these criteria.
      • The McDonald 2017 criteria had poor performance to distinguish MS and ADEM at baseline.

      Abstract

      Background

      Our aim was to propose criteria to distinguish multiple sclerosis (MS) from acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) at onset based on age at onset, sex, cerebrospinl fluid (CSF)-specific oligoclonal bands, and MRI.

      Methods

      A neuroradiologist undertook retrospective evaluation of the baseline magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a nationwide cohort of children with medical record-validated MS (n = 67) and monophasic ADEM (n = 46). Children with ADEM had at least 5 years of follow-up for relapse. We used forward stepwise conditional logistic regression to develop our criteria based on age at onset, sex, CSF-specific oligoclonal bands, and MRI. We undertook sensitivity analyses using children with ADEM including encephalopathy and polyfocal neurological deficits and in those with onset between 11 and 17 years of age. We estimated accuracy statistics from our criteria and all previously proposed MRI criteria to distinguish MS and ADEM.

      Results

      The best performing criteria to differentiate MS from ADEM were scoring at least three points in the following categories: presence of CSF-specific oligoclonal bands (2 points), occipital lesion (1 point), age 11–17 years (1 point), female sex (1 point). These criteria gave highly reliable discrimination with sensitivity of 95% (95% CI=89%–100%), specificity of 100% (95% CI=100%–100%), and area under the curve of 98% (95% CI=95%–100%). The best performing MRI criteria had area under the curve of 84% (95% CI=78%–91%). Previously proposed MRI criteria had the following areas under the curve: Callen (75%), KIDMUS (82%), and McDonald 2017 criteria (68%).

      Conclusion

      Combining sex, age at onset, CSF-specific oligoclonal bands, and MRI gives highly reliable differentiation between pediatric MS and monophasic ADEM at onset.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis), AUC (area under the curve), CSF (cerebrospinal fluid), ICD (International Classification of Diseases), IPMSSG (International Pediatric MS Study Group), MOG (myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein), MS (multiple sclerosis)
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