COVID-19 in Patients With Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders and Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody Disease in North America: From the COViMS Registry

Background and Objective

To describe the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on people with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD).


The COVID-19 Infections in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Related Diseases (COViMS) Registry collected data on North American patients with MS and related diseases with laboratory-positive or highly suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. Deidentified data were entered into a web-based registry by health care providers. Data were analyzed using t-tests, Pearson 2 tests, or Fisher exact tests for categorical variables. Univariate logistic regression models examined effects of risk factors and COVID-19 clinical severity.


As of June 7, 2021, 77 patients with NMOSD and 20 patients with MOGAD were reported in the COViMS Registry. Most patients with NMOSD were laboratory positive for SARS-CoV-2 and taking rituximab at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis. Most patients with NMOSD were not hospitalized (64.9% [95% CI: 53.2%–75.5%]), whereas 15.6% (95% CI: 8.3%–25.6%) were hospitalized only, 9.1% (95% CI: 3.7%–17.8%) were admitted to the ICU and/or ventilated, and 10.4% (95% CI: 4.6%–19.5%) died. In patients with NMOSD, having a comorbidity was the sole factor identified for poorer COVID-19 outcome (OR = 6.0, 95% CI: 1.79–19.98). Most patients with MOGAD were laboratory positive for SARS-CoV-2, and almost half were taking rituximab. Among patients with MOGAD, 75.0% were not hospitalized, and no deaths were recorded; no factors were different between those not hospitalized and those hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, or ventilated.


Among the reported patients with NMOSD, a high mortality rate was observed, and the presence of comorbid conditions was associated with worse COVID-19 outcome. There were no deaths reported in the patients with MOGAD, although these observations are limited due to small sample size.

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