B. Wildemann and F. Paul Shared senior authorship
Baló’s concentric sclerosis (BCS) is a rare inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system characterised by concentric layers of demyelination. It is unclear whether BCS is a variant of multiple sclerosis (MS) or a disease entity in its own right.
To compare the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) features of BCS to those of MS.
Retrospective analysis of the CSF profile of all patients with BCS reported in the medical literature between 1980 and 2017.
In total, the results of 146 lumbar punctures (LP) in 132 patients were analysed. The most striking finding was a lack of CSF-restricted oligoclonal bands (OCB) in 66% (56/85) of all LP in the total BCS group, in 74% (14/19) in the subgroup of patients with both MRI and histological evidence for BCS, and in 82% (18/22) in the subgroup of patients with highest radiological confidence (high MRI quality, ≥ 3 layers of demyelination). OCB disappeared in 1/2 initially OCB-positive patients. These findings are in stark contrast to MS, in which OCB are present in ≥ 95% of patients and are thought to remain stably detectable over the entire course of disease (p < 0.000001). OCB frequency was low both in ‘historic’ patients (1980–2009; 37%) and in more recent patients (2010–2017; 31%). OCB-positive and OCB-negative patients did not differ significantly with regard to age, sex, disease duration, number of Baló-like lesions on MRI, number of relapses, treatment or final outcome. In accordance with the high rate of OCB negativity, Link’s IgG index was negative in 63% of all tested samples (p < 0.000001 vs. MS). CSF pleocytosis was present in 28% (27/96; p < 0.000001 vs. MS) and elevated CSF total protein levels in 41% (31/76) of samples.
OCB and IgG index frequencies in BCS are much more similar to those reported in neuromyelitis optica or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated encephalomyelitis than to those in MS. Our findings suggest that in most cases BCS-like lesions denote the presence of a disease entity immunologically distinct from MS. In addition, we provide data on the demographics, clinical course and radiological features of BCS based on the largest cohort analysed to date.
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- Baló’s concentric sclerosis is immunologically distinct from multiple sclerosis: results from retrospective analysis of almost 150 lumbar punctures
J. R. Behrens
- BioMed Central
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