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Epidemiology of Pediatric NMOSD in Germany and Austria.


ABSTRACT: Background: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) are severe inflammatory demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system mainly characterized by recurrent episodes of uni- or bilateral optic neuritis (ON), transverse myelitis (TM) and brainstem syndromes (BS). The majority of adult patients has serum antibodies directed against the water channel protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4-abs). In pediatric patients, AQP4-abs are less, while antibodies against myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG-abs) are more frequently detectable than in adults. Some children with NMOSD have neither AQP4- nor MOG-ab (double-seronegative). Objective: Evaluation of epidemiological data regarding incidence and prevalence of pediatric NMOSD in Germany and Austria. Methods: We recruited pediatric NMOSD patients between 1 March 2017 and 28 February 2019 with five different tools: (1) ESPED (Surveillance Unit for Rare Pediatric Disorders in Germany), (2) ESNEK (Surveillance for Rare Neurological Disorders during Childhood), (3) pediatric neurology working group within the Austrian Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, (4) BIOMARKER Study and (5) NEMOS (Neuromyelitis optica Study Group). We requested data regarding clinical symptoms, antibody status, therapy regimen and response via a standardized questionnaire. Results: During the 2-year recruitment period, 46 (both incidental and prevalent) patients with a suspected diagnosis of NMOSD were brought to our attention. Twenty-two of these patients did not fulfill the inclusion criteria. Of the remaining 24 children, 22 had a median age at onset of 11 (range 3-17) years and 16/22 were female (72.7%) (no data in two patients). Sixteen of 24 patients were AQP4-ab positive (67%), 4/24 MOG-ab positive (16.7%), three children were double-seronegative and in one patient no antibody testing was done. We calculated an incidence rate of 0.022 per 100,000 person-years for Germany, while there was no incidental case in Austria during the recruitment period. The prevalence rate was 0.147 and 0.267 per 100,000 persons in Germany and Austria, respectively. Conclusion: Pediatric NMOSD, with and without associated antibodies, are very rare even considering the different limitations of our study. An unexpected finding was that a considerable proportion of patients was tested neither for AQP4- nor MOG-abs during diagnostic work-up, which should prompt to establish and disseminate appropriate guidelines.

SUBMITTER: Lechner C 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7326092 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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