BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Differentiating pediatric-onset neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder from acute disseminated encephalomyelitis could be challenging, especially in cases presenting with only brain manifestations. Our purpose was to investigate brain MR imaging features that may help distinguish these 2 entities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively examined initial brain MR imaging studies of 10 patients with pediatric-onset neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (female/male ratio, 7:3) and 10 patients with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (female/male ratio, 2:8). The mean age of the patients was 10.3 5.6 and 8.7 5.3 years, respectively. Brain lesions were evaluated with respect to location, extent, expansion, T1 hypointensity, contrast enhancement/pattern, and diffusion characteristics. The 2 test (Yates or Fisher exact 2 tests) was used to compare differences between groups. RESULTS: Cerebral subcortical juxtacortical and pons middle cerebellar peduncle were the most frequent locations involved in both neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (n 5 and 4, respectively) and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (n 9 and 7, respectively). Thalamic lesions were more frequent in acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (P .020) and were detected only in 1 patient with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. None of the patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder had hypothalamic, internal capsule, or cortical lesions. The internal capsule involvement was found to be significantly different between groups (P .033). There was no significant difference in terms of extent, expansion, T1 hypointensity, contrast enhancement/pattern, and diffusion characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Although there is a considerable overlap in brain MR imaging findings, thalamic and internal capsule involvement could be used to differentiate pediatric-onset neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder from acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology