Incidence of paediatric multiple sclerosis and other acquired demyelinating syndromes: 10-year follow-up surveillance study

UK Childhood Inflammatory Demyelination Network

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AimTo describe a 10-year follow-up of children (<16y) with acquired demyelinating syndromes (ADS) from a UK-wide prospective surveillance study.
MethodDiagnoses were retrieved from the patients' records via the patients' paediatric or adult neurologist using a questionnaire. Demyelinating phenotypes at follow-up were classified by an expert review panel.
ResultsTwenty-four out of 125 (19.2%) children (64 males, 61 females; median age 10y, range 1y 4mo–15y 11mo), identified in the original study, were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (incidence of 2.04/million children/year); 23 of 24 fulfilled 2017 McDonald criteria at onset. Aquaporin-4-antibody neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders were diagnosed in three (2.4%, 0.26/million children/year), and relapsing myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease in five (4%, 0.43/million children/year). Three out of 125 seronegative patients relapsed and 85 of 125 (68%) remained monophasic over 10 years. Five of 125 patients (4%) originally diagnosed with ADS were reclassified during follow-up: three children diagnosed initially with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis were subsequently diagnosed with acute necrotising encephalopathy (RAN-binding protein 2 mutation), primary haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (Munc 13-4 gene inversion), and anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis. One child initially diagnosed with optic neuritis was later diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, and one presenting with transverse myelitis was subsequently diagnosed with Sjögren syndrome.
InterpretationThe majority of ADS presentations in children are monophasic, even at 10-year follow-up. Given the implications for treatment strategies, multiple sclerosis and central nervous system autoantibody mimics warrant extensive investigation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Early online date24 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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