Use of the 2010 McDonald criteria can facilitate early diagnosis of pediatric multiple sclerosis in a predominantly black cohort

Pediatr Neurol. 2014 Dec;51(6):826-30. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2014.08.032. Epub 2014 Sep 6.


Background: Pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis represents around 3-5% of all patients with multiple sclerosis. Both the 2005 and 2010 McDonald criteria for multiple sclerosis have been suggested for the possible use in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. Modifications incorporated into the 2010 criteria enabled the fulfillment of dissemination in time to be met with the initial magnetic resonance imaging. The present study was designed to compare the diagnostic sensitivity of these criteria at initial presentation, the time to fulfilling them, and secondary effects of ethnicity in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis.

Methods: Twenty-five children with clinically definite multiple sclerosis (mean age, 14.6 ± 3.1 years; 15 girls) from a single center between 2005 and 2012 were analyzed using both the 2005 and 2010 McDonald criteria based on initial clinical presentation and neuroimaging findings comparing diagnostic sensitivity, time interval to meet diagnosis, and ethnicity.

Results: Initial multiple sclerosis diagnosis rates applying the 2005 McDonald criteria were 32% compared with 92% for the 2010 criteria (P = 0.0003). The mean time after initial signs until the 2005 and 2010 McDonald criteria for multiple sclerosis were met was 5.0 vs 0.7 months, respectively (P = 0.001). Time to diagnosis using the 2010 criteria was shorter in black children than the European white (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: The 2010 McDonald criteria are an appropriate tool for the timely diagnosis of pediatric multiple sclerosis, especially in black children, potentially allowing an earlier initiation of disease-modifying therapy.

Keywords: MRI; McDonald criteria; black; ethnicity; multiple sclerosis; pediatric.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age of Onset
  • Black or African American*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*