JOURNAL ARTICLE

Multiple Sclerosis Is Rare in Epstein-Barr Virus-Seronegative Children with Central Nervous System Inflammatory Demyelination

Bardia Nourbakhsh, Christian Cordano, Carlo Asteggiano, Klemens Ruprecht, Carolin Otto, Alice Rutatangwa, Allysa Lui, Janace Hart, Eoin P Flanagan, Judith A James, Emmanuelle Waubant
Annals of Neurology 2021 March 11
33704815
Although Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is hypothesized to be a prerequisite for multiple sclerosis (MS), up to 15% of children with a diagnosis of MS were reported to be EBV-seronegative. When re-evaluating 25 EBV-seronegative children out of 189 pediatric patients with a diagnosis of clinically isolated syndrome/MS, we found anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody in 11 of 25 (44%) EBV-seronegative but only 9 of 164 (5.5%, p < 0.001) EBV-seropositive patients. After critical review, MS remained a plausible diagnosis in only 4 of 14 EBV-seronegative/MOG antibody-negative patients. In children with an MS-like presentation, EBV seronegativity should alert clinicians to consider diagnoses other than MS, especially MOG-antibody disease. ANN NEUROL 2021.

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