Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory CNS syndrome distinct from multiple sclerosis (MS) that is associated with serum aquaporin-4 immunoglobulin G antibodies (AQP4-IgG). Prior NMO diagnostic criteria required optic nerve and spinal cord involvement but more restricted or more extensive CNS involvement may occur. The International Panel for NMO Diagnosis (IPND) was convened to develop revised diagnostic criteria using systematic literature reviews and electronic surveys to facilitate consensus. The new nomenclature defines the unifying term NMO spectrum disorders (NMOSD), which is stratified further by serologic testing (NMOSD with or without AQP4-IgG). The core clinical characteristics required for patients with NMOSD with AQP4-IgG include clinical syndromes or MRI findings related to optic nerve, spinal cord, area postrema, other brainstem, diencephalic, or cerebral presentations. More stringent clinical criteria, with additional neuroimaging findings, are required for diagnosis of NMOSD without AQP4-IgG or when serologic testing is unavailable. The IPND also proposed validation strategies and achieved consensus on pediatric NMOSD diagnosis and the concepts of monophasic NMOSD and opticospinal MS.
© 2015 American Academy of Neurology.