Oligoclonal bands increase the specificity of MRI criteria to predict multiple sclerosis in children with radiologically isolated syndrome

Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2019 Mar 20;5(1):2055217319836664. doi: 10.1177/2055217319836664. eCollection Jan-Mar 2019.


Background: Steps towards the development of diagnostic criteria are needed for children with the radiologically isolated syndrome to identify children at risk of clinical demyelination.

Objectives: To evaluate the 2005 and 2016 MAGNIMS magnetic resonance imaging criteria for dissemination in space for multiple sclerosis, both alone and with oligoclonal bands in cerebrospinal fluid added, as predictors of a first clinical event consistent with central nervous system demyelination in children with radiologically isolated syndrome.

Methods: We analysed an international historical cohort of 61 children with radiologically isolated syndrome (≤18 years), defined using the 2010 magnetic resonance imaging dissemination in space criteria (Ped-RIS) who were followed longitudinally (mean 4.2 ± 4.7 years). All index scans also met the 2017 magnetic resonance imaging dissemination in space criteria.

Results: Diagnostic indices (95% confidence intervals) for the 2005 dissemination in space criteria, with and without oligoclonal bands, were: sensitivity 66.7% (38.4-88.2%) versus 72.7% (49.8-89.3%); specificity 83.3% (58.6-96.4%) versus 53.9% (37.2-69.9%). For the 2016 MAGNIMS dissemination in space criteria diagnostic indices were: sensitivity 76.5% (50.1-93.2%) versus 100% (84.6-100%); specificity 72.7% (49.8-89.3%) versus 25.6% (13.0-42.1%).

Conclusions: Oligoclonal bands increased the specificity of magnetic resonance imaging criteria in children with Ped-RIS. Clinicians should consider testing cerebrospinal fluid to improve diagnostic certainty. There is rationale to include cerebrospinal fluid analysis for biomarkers including oligoclonal bands in planned prospective studies to develop optimal diagnostic criteria for radiologically isolated syndrome in children.

Keywords: Radiologically isolated syndrome; children; multiple sclerosis.