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, 9 (3), 417-28

Idiopathic Transverse Myelitis and Neuromyelitis Optica: Clinical Profiles, Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Choices


Idiopathic Transverse Myelitis and Neuromyelitis Optica: Clinical Profiles, Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Choices

Amer Awad et al. Curr Neuropharmacol.


Transverse myelitis is a focal inflammatory disorder of the spinal cord which may arise due to different etiologies. Transverse myelitis may be idiopathic or related/secondary to other diseases including infections, connective tissue disorders and other autoimmune diseases. It may be also associated with optic neuritis (neuromyelitis optica), which may precede transverse myelitis. In this manuscript we review the pathophysiology of different types of transverse myelitis and neuromyelitis optica and discuss diagnostic criteria for idiopathic transverse myelitis and risk of development of multiple sclerosis after an episode of transverse myelitis. We also discuss treatment options including corticosteroids, immunosuppressives and monoclonal antibodies, plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulins.

Keywords: Transverse myelitis; epidemiology; neuromyelitis optica; pathogenesis; pathology; treatment..


Fig. (1)
Fig. (1)
T2 Sagittal spine MRI of a 30 year old lady presented to our hospital with left lower extremity weakness and low back pain showing the typical fusiform cord signal in TM.
Fig. (2a, b)
Fig. (2a, b)
Fig. (2a) shows a T2 sagittal spine MRI of a 38 year-old woman who presented to our hospital with acute incomplete paraparesis displaying the typical LETM in acute NMO. Fig. (2b) shows a T2 sagittal spine MRI of a 51 year-old woman with chronic relapsing NMO showing the typical manifestations of chronic NMO including cord atrophy and patchy lesions.

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