Understanding Pediatric Neuroimmune Disorder Conflicts: A Neuroradiologic Approach in the Molecular Era

Radiographics. 2020 Sep-Oct;40(5):1395-1411. doi: 10.1148/rg.2020200032. Epub 2020 Jul 31.


Neuroimmune disorders in children are a complex group of inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system with diverse pathophysiologic mechanisms and clinical manifestations. Improvements in antibody analysis, genetics, neuroradiology, and different clinical phenotyping have expanded knowledge of the different neuroimmune disorders. The authors focus on pediatric-onset myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody-associated disease, which is a new entity in the spectrum of inflammatory demyelinating diseases, distinct from both multiple sclerosis (MS) and anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs). The authors review the importance of an optimized antibody-detection assay, the frequency of MOG antibodies in children with acquired demyelinating syndrome (ADS), the disease course, the clinical spectrum, proposed diagnostic criteria, and neuroimaging of MOG antibody-associated disease. Also, they outline differential diagnosis from other neuroimmune disorders in children according to the putative primary immune mechanism. Finally, they recommend a diagnostic algorithm for the first manifestation of ADS or relapsing ADS that leads to four demyelinating syndromes: MOG antibody-associated disease, AQP4 antibody NMOSDs, MS, and seronegative relapsing ADS. This diagnostic approach provides a framework for the strategic role of neuroradiology in diagnosis of ADS and decision making, to optimize patient care and treatment outcome in concert with clinicians. Online supplemental material is available for this article. ©RSNA, 2020.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / diagnostic imaging*
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / therapy
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Neuroimaging / methods*