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Most patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) test positive for aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-IgG) or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies (MOG-IgG). Those who are negative are termed double-negative (DN) NMOSD and may constitute a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. DN NMOSD is a syndrome rather than a single disease, ranging from a (postinfectious) monophasic illness to a more chronic syndrome that can be indistinguishable from AQP4-IgG+ NMOSD or develop into other mimics such as multiple sclerosis. Thus, underlying disease mechanisms are likely to be heterogeneous. This topical review aims to (1) reappraise antibody-negative NMOSD definition as it has changed over time with the development of the AQP4 and MOG-IgG assays; (2) outline clinical characteristics and the pathophysiological nature of this rare entity by contrasting its differences and similarities with antibody-positive NMOSD; (3) summarize laboratory characteristics and magnetic resonance imaging findings of DN NMOSD; and (4) discuss the current treatment for DN NMOSD.

Original publication




Journal article


Mult Scler

Publication Date





1353 - 1362


AQP4-IgG, MOG-IgG, double seronegative, multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder