The evaluation of inflammatory central nervous system disorders in childhood with predominant involvement of the optic nerves and spinal cord has been greatly enhanced over the last decade with identification of a group of disorders unified by the detection of neuromyelitis optica (NMO)-IgG, an antibody targeting the central nervous system-predominant water channel aquaporin-4. Clinical syndromes are predominated by the relapsing form of NMO but also include encephalopathic variants that can mimic acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Maintenance immunotherapy is used to prevent relapses in NMO-IgG-seropositive patients. In contrast, NMO-IgG-seronegative children with NMO more commonly have a monophasic course (simultaneous occurrence of optic neuritis and transverse myelitis) and do not require remission-maintaining immunotherapy, but close surveillance is advised. Current clinical, pathological, and pathogenetic knowledge is reviewed with a focus on clinical presentation, neuroimaging findings, serological investigations, and treatment of children with disorders within the spectrum of central nervous system aquaporin-4 autoimmunity.
- neuromyelitis optica
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology