Decision-making on management of ms and nmosd patients during the COVID-19 pandemic: A latin american survey

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020 Sep:44:102310. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2020.102310. Epub 2020 Jun 20.


Background: The emergence of COVID-19 and its vertiginous spreading speed represents a unique challenge to neurologists managing multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD). The need for data on the impact of the virus on these patients grows rapidly. There is an urgent necessity of sharing information to enable evidence-based decision making on the clinical management. There are no data on what physicians are doing on clinical practice in Latin American countries.

Aim: to investigate current management opinion of Latin American MS and/or NMOSD expert neurologists based on their experience and recommendations.

Methods: we developed a voluntary web-based survey based on hypothetical situations that these patients may encounter, while taking into account the potential risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection.

Results: 60% of the experts had the possibility of monitoring their patients by telemedicine. Most neurologists postpone magnetic resonance. Laboratory blood tests delay is associated with the type of treatment. Platform therapies, dimethyl-fumarate and natalizumab are considered safe options to initiate in naive patients.

Conclusion: decision-making about MS and NMOSD patients has become even more complex in order to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Risks and benefits should be taken into consideration throughout the patient follow-up.

Keywords: Coronavirus; Covid-19; Decision-making; Demyelinating disease; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • Clinical Decision-Making*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Latin America
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / complications
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / diagnosis*
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires