Clinico-immunogenetic characteristics of multiple sclerosis with optic neuritis in children

A N Boiko, M E Guseva, M R Guseva, S Y Boiko, M A Sudomoina, O V Bikova, O I Maslova, O O Favorova, E I Gusev
Journal of Neurovirology 2000, 6: S152-5
The frequency of multiple sclerosis (MS) with clinical onset before 16 years of age in different regions of Russia fluctuates from 2 to 10% of all MS patients. One of the most frequent signs of MS manifestation and/or exacerbation at this age is optic neuritis (ON). Forty-seven children with MS were observed in Moscow. Diagnosis of MS in every case was clinically definite and proved by serial MRI. Clinico-tomographic dissociation was noticed: numerous large lesions, typical for MS on T2 images were often seen in children with mild or moderate residual neurological symptoms. All patients had relapsing/remitting MS course, mean EDSS was 2.24+/-0.26. Thirty-eight children (80%) had ON at least once, ten (21.3%) - twice or more times. In several cases ON had subclinical course or might be missed and the damage of the optic nerve with partial atrophy was found only after complex ophthalmological investigation including visual evoked potentials. Thus, the clinical course of MS and ON have some peculiarities in children and may be genetically based. Analyses of allelic polymorphisms of HLA-DR and TNF loci on chromosome 6 was performed. Data from children with MS were compared with data from their parents, healthy controls and other MS patients from the same ethnic group. Children with MS had increased frequency of DR2(15) and TNF-a11, but not TNF-a9 as adult MS patients from the same ethnic group. The presence of TNF-a7, rare in adult patients, could be proposed as a marker of early MS onset.

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