Free light chains kappa can differentiate between myelitis and noninflammatory myelopathy


To test the hypothesis that the intrathecal synthesis of free light chain kappa (FLC-k) can be used as a CSF biomarker to differentiate patients with myelitis due to multiple sclerosis (MS), myelitis due to neuromyelitis optica spectrum disease (NMOSD), and noninflammatory myelopathy, we analyzed FLC-k in 26 patients with MS myelitis, 9 patients with NMOSD myelitis, and 14 patients with myelopathy.


This is a retrospective monocentric cohort study. FLC-k were analyzed using the nephelometric Siemens FLC-k kit in paired samples of CSF and sera. Intrathecal fraction (IF) of FLC-k was plotted in a FLC-k quotient diagram.


Ninety-six percent of patients with MS myelitis had an intrathecal synthesis of FLC-k in comparison with 55.6% for NMOSD and 14.3% of patients with noninflammatory myelopathy. The locally synthesized absolute amount of FLC-k was significantly higher in patients with myelitis due to MS than in patients with NMOSD (p = 0.038) or noninflammatory myelopathy (p 78% can discriminate patients with myelitis due to MS and NMOSD with a sensitivity of 88.5% and a specificity of 88.9%


With the hyperbolic reference range in quotient diagrams for FLC-k, it is possible to distinguish inflammatory myelitis from noninflammatory myelopathies. An FLC-k IF >78% can be a hint to suspect myelitis due to MS rather than NMOSD.

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