Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders

Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2017 May;27(2):251-265. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2016.12.010. Epub 2017 Feb 9.


Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is clinically characterized by severe optic neuritis and transverse myelitis, but recent studies with anti-aquaporin-4-antibody specific to NMO have revealed that the clinical spectrum is wider than previously thought. International consensus diagnostic criteria propose NMO spectrum disorders (NMOSD) as the term to define the entire spectrum including typical NMO, optic neuritis, acute myelitis, brain syndrome, and their combinations. NMOSD is now divided into anti-aquaporin-4-antibody-seropositive NMOSD and -seronegative NMOSD (or unknown serostatus). MR imaging and optical coherence tomography are indispensable in the diagnosis and evaluation of NMOSD. This article reviews the clinical and MR imaging findings of anti-aquaporin-4-antibody-seropositive and anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-antibody-seropositive NMOSD.

Keywords: Anti-aquaporin-4 antibody; Anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody; MR imaging; Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders; Optical coherence tomography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aquaporin 4 / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein / immunology*
  • Myelitis, Transverse
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / blood
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / diagnosis
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / immunology*
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / pathology*
  • Optic Neuritis


  • Aquaporin 4
  • Autoantibodies
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein