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Epidemiology of aquaporin-4 autoimmunity and neuromyelitis optica spectrum.

Ann Neurol. 2016 Feb 17. doi: 10.1002/ana.24617. [Epub ahead of print]

Flanagan EP1, Cabre P2, Weinshenker BG1, St Sauver J3, Jacobson DJ4, Majed M1, Lennon VA1,5,6, Lucchinetti CF1, McKeon A1,5, Matiello M7, Kale N8, Wingerchuk DM9, Mandrekar J4, Sagen JA10, Fryer JP4, Borders Robinson A11, Pittock SJ1,5.

Objective Neuromyelitis optica and its spectrum disorders (NMOSD) are inflammatory demyelinating diseases (IDD) with a specific biomarker, aquaporin-4-IgG. Prior NMO/NMOSD epidemiological studies are limited by lack of aquaporin-4-IgG seroprevalence assessment, absence of population-based USA studies and under-representation of blacks. To overcome these limitations, we sought to compare NMO/NMOSD seroepidemiology across two ethnically divergent populations. Methods We performed a population-based comparative study of the incidence (2003-2011) and prevalence (on December 31, 2011) of NMO/NMOSD and aquaporin-4-IgG seroincidence and seroprevalence (sera collected in 80-84% of IDD) among patients with IDD diagnosis in Olmsted County, USA (82% white [Caucasian]) and Martinique (90% black [Afro-Caribbean]). Aquaporin-4-IgG was measured by M1-isoform-fluorescent-activated-cell-sorting assays. Results The age and sex adjusted incidence (7.3 vs 0.7/1,000,000 person-years [p<0.01]) and prevalence (10 vs 3.9/100,000[p=0.01]) in Martinique exceeded that in Olmsted County. The AQP4-IgG age and sex-adjusted seroincidence (6.5 vs 0.7/1,000,000 person-years [p<0.01]) and seroprevalence (7.9 vs 3.3/100,000[p=0.04]) were also higher in Martinique than Olmsted County. The ethnicity-specific prevalence was similar in Martinique and Olmsted County: 11.5 and 13/100,000 in blacks, and 6.1 and 4.0/100,000 in whites, respectively. NMO/NMOSD represented a higher proportion of IDD in Martinique than Olmsted County (16% vs 1.4%; p<0.01). The onset age (median, 35-37 years) and female:male distribution (8-9:1) were similar across both populations; 60% of prevalent cases were either blind in one eye, dependent on a gait aid or both. Interpretation This study reports the highest prevalence of NMO/NMOSD in any population (10/100,000 in Martinique), estimates it affects 16,000-17,000 in the USA (higher than previous predictions) and demonstrates it disproportionately affects blacks. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Β© 2016 American Neurological Association.