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Long-term disability progression in aquaporin-4 antibody-positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder: a retrospective analysis of 101 patients

Abstract

Background Anti-aquaporin-4 antibody-positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (AQP4Ab+NMOSD) is an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system with relapse-dependent progression. Few studies have reported the effects of prednisolone and biologics on disability progression in AQP4Ab+NMOSD, although it is established that they prevent clinical relapses. This retrospective study investigated long-term disability progression and the effects of therapeutic interventions on disability progression in AQP4Ab+NMOSD.

Methods This study included a total of 101 patients with AQP4Ab+NMOSD. Disease progression was investigated in the following two cohorts: (1) duration from disease onset to Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 3.0 in patients who did or did not receive oral prednisolone or biologics before reaching EDSS 3.0 and (2) duration from disease onset to EDSS 6.0 in patients who did or did not receive oral prednisolone or biologics before reaching EDSS 6.0.

Results Approximately half of the untreated patients reached EDSS 3.0 and 6.0 at 10 and 46 months after disease onset, respectively. In addition, 88% and 71% of the untreated patients reached EDSS 3.0 and 6.0 within 10 years after disease onset, respectively. Disability progression, clinical relapses and attack severity were suppressed by prednisolone and biologics.

Conclusions AQP4Ab+NMOSD is a severely disabling disease. Treatment interventions using prednisolone and biologics are useful in suppressing disability progression in AQP4Ab+NMOSD.

  • CLINICAL NEUROLOGY
  • MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
  • NEUROIMMUNOLOGY

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