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BACKGROUND: The "1/3″ brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) criteria including 1) a lesion adjacent to the lateral ventricle and in the inferior temporal lobe, or 2) a juxtacortical lesion, or 3) a Dawson finger-type lesion were shown to distinguish multiple sclerosis (MS) from antibody-mediated conditions. In this large multicentre study, we aimed to assess how the criteria perform 1) in different onset phenotypes, 2) distinct ethnic groups, 3) when the absence of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody (MOG-Ab)-associated disease (MOGAD)-typical fluffy infratentorial (FIT) lesions and longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) lesions are added as features ("2/4″ and 3/5″ criteria, respectively). METHODS: 577 patients with MS (n = 332), aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-Ab) neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) (n = 196) and MOGAD (n = 49) were recruited from 6 international centres (Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, Maracaibo, Goyang, Oxford and Milan). Imaging scans were obtained at disease onset or relapse. RESULTS: Adding the absence of FIT lesions increased the specificity of the "1/3″ criteria vs. AQP4-Ab NMOSD from 84.7% to 87.2% and vs. MOGAD from 85.7% to 93.9% without compromising their sensitivity (86%). In particular, for those presenting with brain/brainstem attacks "2/4″ had significantly higher specificity than "1/3″ (85% vs. 80% against AQP4-Ab NMOSD, 88.9% vs. 72.2% against MOGAD). Positive predictive values of the "1/3″ criteria for MS were lowest for Asian patients (84.8 vs. 99.1% for White) but were significantly increased by adding further criteria (94.1% for "3/5″). CONCLUSION: The "1/3″ criteria perform well in discriminating MS from NMOSD and MOGAD regardless of ethnic background and clinical scenario. Adding the absence of FIT lesions increases the specificity in those presenting with brain/brainstem symptoms.

Original publication




Journal article


Mult Scler Relat Disord

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Multiple sclerosis, Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, Oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated diseases