Significance of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibodies in CSF: A Retrospective Multicenter Study

Neurology. 2023 Mar 14;100(11):e1095-e1108. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000201662. Epub 2022 Dec 16.


Background and objectives: Although the diagnosis of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease (MOGAD) is based on serum MOG antibodies (MOG-Abs) positivity, patients with coexisting or restricted MOG-Abs in the CSF have been reported. The aim of this study is to characterize the relevance of CSF MOG-Abs positivity in clinical practice.

Methods: Eleven medical centers retrospectively collected clinical and laboratory data of adult and pediatric patients with suspected inflammatory CNS disease and MOG-Abs positivity in serum and/or CSF using live cell-based assays. Comparisons were performed using parametric or nonparametric tests, as appropriate. Potential factors of unfavorable outcomes were explored by Cox proportional hazard models and logistic regression.

Results: The cohort included 255 patients: 139 (55%) women and 132 (52%) children (i.e., <18-year-old). Among them, 145 patients (56.8%) had MOG-Abs in both serum and CSF (MOG-Abs seropositive and CSF positive), 79 (31%) only in serum (MOG-Abs seropositive and CSF negative), and 31 (12%) only in CSF (MOG-Abs seronegative and CSF positive). MOG-Abs seronegative and CSF positive predominated in adults (22% vs 3% of children), presented more commonly with motor (n = 14, 45%) and sensory symptoms (n = 13, 42%), and all but 4 (2 multiple sclerosis, 1 polyradiculoneuritis, and 1 Susac syndrome) had a final diagnosis compatible with MOGAD. When comparing seropositive patients according to MOG-Abs CSF status, MOG-Abs seropositive and CSF positive patients had a higher Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) at nadir during the index event (median 4.5, interquartile range [IQR] 3.0-7.5 vs 3.0, IQR 2.0-6.8, p = 0.007) and presented more commonly with sensory (45.5% vs 24%, p = 0.002), motor (33.6% vs 19%, p = 0.021), and sphincter symptoms (26.9% vs 7.8%, p = 0.001) than MOG-Abs seropositive and CSF negative. At the last follow-up, MOG-Abs seropositive and CSF positive cases had more often persistent sphincter dysfunction (17.3% vs 4.3%, p = 0.008). Compared with seropositive patients, those MOG-Abs seronegative and CSF positive had higher disability at the last follow-up (p ≤ 0.001), and MOG-Abs seronegative and CSF positive status were independently associated with an EDSS ≥3.0.

Discussion: Paired serum and CSF MOG-Abs positivity are common in MOGAD and are associated with a more severe clinical presentation. CSF-only MOG-Abs positivity can occur in patients with a phenotype suggestive of MOGAD and is associated with a worse outcome. Taken together, these data suggest a clinical interest in assessing CSF MOG-Abs in patients with a phenotype suggestive of MOGAD, regardless of the MOG-Abs serostatus.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aquaporin 4*
  • Autoantibodies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Aquaporin 4
  • Autoantibodies