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Longitudinally extensive myelopathy in Caucasians: a West Australian study of 26 cases from the Perth Demyelinating Diseases Database

Abstract

Objectives To characterise West Australian cases of longitudinally extensive myelopathy (LEM).

Methods Twenty six patients with LEM were identified from a cohort of 983 patients with demyelinating disease. Clinical and MRI data and AQP4-IgG results were reviewed.

Results LEM cases were classified as conventional MS (CMS) 13, neuromyelitis optica (NMO) 7, and isolated LEM 6. LEM was the initial presentation in 13/26 cases. In CMS cases lesions were mainly in the lower cervical cord (C4–C7) whereas in NMO and isolated LEM they were more often thoracic and were longer. The severity of disability was highly variable but was greater in the NMO than the CMS group. Only one of 20 patients tested was seropositive for AQP4-IgG.

Conclusion LEM occurred as part of CMS or NMO or in isolation. Patients with LEM had highly heterogeneous clinical characteristics and a low rate of AQP4-IgG seropositivity.

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