Objective: To assess volumes and microstructural integrity of deep gray matter structures in a homogeneous cohort of patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study including 36 aquaporin-4 antibody-positive (AQP4 Ab-positive) Caucasian patients with NMOSD and healthy controls matched for age, sex, and education. Volumetry of deep gray matter structures (DGM; thalamus, caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens) was performed using 2 independent automated methods. Microstructural integrity was assessed based on diffusion tensor imaging.
Results: Both volumetric analysis methods consistently revealed similar volumes of DGM structures in patients and controls without significant group differences. Moreover, no differences in DGM microstructural integrity were observed between groups.
Conclusions: Deep gray matter structures are not affected in AQP4 Ab-positive Caucasian patients with NMOSD. NMOSD imaging studies should be interpreted with respect to Ab status, educational background, and ethnicity of included patients.