Table 1

Characteristics of the NMOSD patients and controls included in the study

NMOSD patients (n=39)Controls (n=37)
Aquaporin 4-IgG antibodies (seropositive, %)39 (100%)
Age, years (mean±SD)50.1±14.147.8±12.5
Sex, female/male (female %)36/3 (92.3%)32/5 (86.5%)
Handedness (right/left)34/433/2
Race (White/Black/Asian)37/1/137/0/0
Disease duration, years (mean±SD)8.8±8
Total number of previous attacks (median, range)3 (1–22)
Patients with ON (n, %)25 (64.1%)
Number of ON episodes per patient (median, range)1 (0–12)
Time since fist ON episode, years (mean±SD)9.6±7.5
Time since last ON episode, years (mean±SD)5.4±3.7
Visual acuity, logMAR (mean±SD)0.24±0.71−0.01±0.22
pRNFL thickness, µm (mean±SD)79.1±21.296.0±9.2
GCIPL volume, mm3 (mean±SD)1.6±0.31.9±0.2
Patients with myelitis (n, %)36 (92.3%)
Number of myelitis episodes per patient (median, range)1 (0–15)
Time since fist myelitis episode, years (mean±SD)7.4±6.7
Time since last myelitis episode, years (mean±SD)4.3±3.4
Patients with LETM in MRI at study baseline (n, %)22 (56.4%)
Sensory Functional System Score (median, range)2 (0–4)
Patients with brainstem attacks (n, %)5 (12.8%)
EDSS (median, range)4 (0–7)
Patients with other autoimmune diseases (n, %)13 (33.3%)
Patients on immunosuppressive treatment at study baseline (n, %)34 (87.2%)
Patients on daily corticosteroids at study baseline (n, %).7 (17.9%)
  • Note that there were 25 patients with previous ON; of them, 22 had both ON- and myelitis history, while 3 had only ON history without myelitis. Visual acuity was tested monocularly, thus the mean logMAR refers to the mean of both eyes. The presence of LETM (defined as spinal cord lesions extending over at least 3 vertebrae) was evaluated at study baseline, ie. months or years after the myelitis episodes. Note that from the five patients that were not on immunosuppressive treatment at study baseline, only two were permanently untreated, due to severe leucopenia and long-term prednisolone therapy, respectively. The other three were untreated at this time-point, due to side effects of previous treatments, but received immunosuppression later. Note also that seven patients were receiving daily oral steroids (prednisolone) at study baseline: one at a dose of 2 mg/day, five at 5mg/day and one at 50mg/day.

  • EDSS, Expanded Disability Status Scale; GCIPL, ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer; LETM, longitudinal extensive transverse myelitis; MAR, minimum angle of resolution; NMOSD, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders; ON, optic neuritis; pRNFL, peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer.