The spectrum of neuromyelitis optica: a case of NMO with extensive brain stem involvement

Neurol Res. 2007 Jan;29(1):32-5. doi: 10.1179/016164106x115071.


Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), regarded as a distinct clinical entity from multiple sclerosis (MS), is generally characterized by demyelinating lesions involving optic nerves and spinal cord with sparing of the brain. We report a case with initial clinical, radiological and serological features consistent with NMO, but with concomitant extensively clinical and radiological involvement of the brain stem. Although there are well defined criteria for NMO that restricts the lesions to optic nerves and spinal cord, the case presented here and the review of literature support the idea that NMO may present as a spectrum of clinical and radiological entities rather than the confining clinical criteria that has been hitherto applied.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / blood
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Brain Stem / pathology*
  • Brain Stem / physiopathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / cytology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Leukocytosis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neurons / pathology
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology
  • Neural Pathways / pathology
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / blood
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / diagnosis*
  • Plasmapheresis
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology
  • Steroids / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Failure


  • Antibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Steroids