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CNS Demyelinating Attacks Requiring Ventilatory Support With Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein or Aquaporin-4 Antibodies

Hannah H Zhao-Fleming, Cristina Valencia Sanchez, Elia Sechi, Jery Inbarasu, Eelco F Wijdicks, Sean J Pittock, John J Chen, Dean M Wingerchuk, Brian G Weinshenker, Sebastian Lopez-Chiriboga, Divyanshu Dubey, Jan-Mendelt Tillema, Michel Toledano, Hemang Yadav 1, Eoin P Flanagan

Affiliations expand
PMID: 34389648 PMCID: PMC8480400 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012599


Background and objective: Severe attacks of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody-associated disorder (MOGAD) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody-positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (AQP4-NMOSD) may require ventilatory support, but data on episodes are limited, particularly for MOGAD. We sought to compare the frequency, characteristics, and outcomes of MOGAD and AQP4-NMOSD attacks requiring ventilatory support.

Methods: This retrospective descriptive study identified Mayo Clinic patients (January 1, 1996-December 1, 2020) with MOGAD or AQP4-NMOSD and an attack requiring noninvasive or invasive ventilation at Mayo Clinic or an outside facility by searching for relevant terms in their electronic medical record. Inclusion criteria were (1) attack-related requirement for noninvasive (bilevel positive airway pressure or continuous positive airway pressure) or invasive respiratory support (mechanical ventilation); (2) MOG or AQP4 antibody positivity with fulfillment of MOGAD and AQP4-NMOSD clinical diagnostic criteria, respectively; and (3) sufficient clinical details. We collected data on demographics, comorbid conditions, indication for and duration of respiratory support, MRI findings, treatments, and outcomes. The races of those with attacks requiring respiratory support were compared to those without such attacks in MOGAD and AQP4-NMOSD.

Results: Attacks requiring ventilatory support were similarly rare in patients with MOGAD (8 of 279, 2.9%) and AQP4-NMOSD (11 of 503 [2.2%]) (p = 0.63). The age at attack (median years [range]) (MOGAD 31.5 [5-47] vs AQP4-NMOSD 43 [14-65]; p = 0.01) and percentage of female sex (MOGAD 3 of 8 [38%] vs AQP4-NMOSD 10 of 11 [91%]; p = 0.04) differed. The reasons for ventilation differed between MOGAD (inability to protect airway from seizure, encephalitis or encephalomyelitis with attacks of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis 5 [62.5%] or unilateral cortical encephalitis 3 [37.5%]) and AQP4-NMOSD (inability to protect airway from cervical myelitis 9 [82%], rhombencephalitis 1 [9%], or combinations of both 1 [9%]). Median ventilation duration for MOGAD was 2 days (range 1-7 days) vs 19 days (range 6-330 days) for AQP4-NMOSD (p = 0.01). All patients with MOGAD recovered, but 2 of 11 (18%) patients with AQP4-NMOSD died of the attack. For AQP4-NMOSD, Black race was overrepresented for attacks requiring ventilatory support vs those without these episodes (5 of 11 [45%] vs 88 of 457 [19%]; p = 0.045).

Discussion: Ventilatory support is rarely required for MOGAD and AQP4-NMOSD attacks, and the indications differ. Compared to MOGAD, these attacks in AQP4-NMOSD may have higher morbidity and mortality, and those of Black race were more predisposed, which we suspect may relate to socially mediated health inequality.


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