Brain structural alterations in MOG antibody diseases: a comparative study with AQP4 seropositive NMOSD and MS


Brain structural alterations and their clinical significance of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD) have not been determined.


We recruited 35 MOGAD, 38 aquaporin 4 antibody positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum diseases (AQP4+ NMOSD), 37 multiple sclerosis (MS) and 60 healthy controls (HC) who underwent multimodal brain MRI from two centres. Brain lesions, volumes of the whole brain parenchyma, cortical and subcortical grey matter (GM), brainstem, cerebellum and cerebral white matter (WM) and diffusion measures (fractional anisotropy, FA and mean diffusivity, MD) were compared among the groups. Associations between the MRI measurements and the clinical variables were assessed by partial correlations. Logistic regression was performed to differentiate MOGAD from AQP4+ NMOSD and MS.


In MOGAD, 19 (54%) patients had lesions on MRI, with cortical/juxtacortical (68%) as the most common location. MOGAD and MS showed lower cortical and subcortical GM volumes than HC, while AQP4+ NMOSD only demonstrated a decreased cortical GM volume. MS demonstrated a lower cerebellar volume, a lower FA and an increased MD than MOGAD and HC. The subcortical GM volume was negatively correlated with Expanded Disability Status Scale in MOGAD (R=–0.51; p=0.004). A combination of MRI and clinical measures could achieve an accuracy of 85% and 93% for the classification of MOGAD versus AQP4+ NMOSD and MOGAD versus MS, respectively.


MOGAD demonstrated cortical and subcortical atrophy without severe WM rarefaction. The subcortical GM volume correlated with clinical disability and a combination of MRI and clinical measures could separate MOGAD from AQP4+ NMOSD and MS.

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