The prevalence and clinical phenotype of dual seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders at a national reference center in South Asia

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2023 Jul:75:104736. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2023.104736. Epub 2023 Apr 25.


Background: Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders (NMOSD) is an autoimmune syndrome that is frequently positive for Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) IgG or Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoproteins (MOG) IgG. However, dual positivity to both is rare.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of dual-positive NMOSD and outline its clinical phenotype.

Design/methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study conducted at a tertiary healthcare center in South Asia between August 2018 and November 2021. The serum and/or CSF samples of suspected cases of NMOSD were tested for both AQP4-IgG and MOG-IgG using an Indirect immunofluorescence test on transfected cells.

Results: During the study period, 1935 cases of NMOSD were tested for both antibodies- 65 patients (3.35%; 57 females and 8 males) tested positive for AQP4-IgG, 217 patients (11.21%; 122 females and 95 males) tested positive for MOG-IgG and 3 patients (0.15%; 2 females and 1 male) showed dual positivity. There was a strong female preponderance in all three groups (87.69%, 56.22%, and 66.66% respectively). This study identified 3 patients with dual positivity. The first patient (42 years, Male) presented with area postrema syndrome initially and subsequently relapsed by developing right-sided numbness of the temporal area and limbs during which he tested dual positive. The second patient (27 years, Female) presented with bilateral optic neuritis (left>right) initially and subsequently relapsed following an episode of a seizure with left-sided hemiplegia. The third patient (25 years, Female) initially presented with acute bilateral optic neuritis and later developed left-sided hemiplegia post-recovery at which point she tested dual positive. Management using methylprednisolone was ineffective for all three patients, however, plasmapheresis and/or periodic rituximab injections produced an excellent response.

Conclusions: Our study reports that the prevalence of dual-positive NMOSD is 0.15% and its clinical phenotype is more similar to NMO rather than MOG- associated disease.

Keywords: Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) IgG; Dual positive NMOSD; Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoproteins (MOG) IgG; NMO-Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody; Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD).

MeSH terms

  • Aquaporin 4
  • Asia, Southern
  • Autoantibodies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hemiplegia
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Male
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Neuromyelitis Optica*
  • Optic Neuritis* / epidemiology
  • Phenotype
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Aquaporin 4
  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G