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Brief Report
April 2018

Prevalence of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein and Aquaporin-4–IgG in Patients in the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 2Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(4):419-422. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2017.6757
Key Points

Question  What is the prevalence of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–IgG and aquaporin-4–IgG in patients in the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial?

Findings  In this case report, no patients were positive for aquaporin-4–IgG, and only 3 were positive for myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–IgG. Patients positive for myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–IgG presented with optic disc edema, and 2 of 3 had recurrent optic neuritis while none developed multiple sclerosis.

Meaning  Aquaporin-4–IgG and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–IgG may be less common than previously reported in isolated unilateral optic neuritis.


Importance  Autoantibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) are recently established biomarkers of autoimmune optic neuritis whose frequency and accompanying phenotype, especially for MOG-IgG, are still being characterized. The Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial (ONTT) was a well-known randomized clinical trial in optic neuritis; therefore, knowledge of the serostatus and accompanying phenotype of these patients would be useful to determine the frequency of these antibodies in patients presenting with typical monocular optic neuritis and their outcomes.

Objectives  To determine the AQP4-IgG and MOG-IgG serostatus of patients within the ONTT and describe the clinical features of seropositive patients.

Design, Setting, and Participants  In this follow-up study of the randomized clinical trial, ONTT, conducted between July 1, 1988, and June 30, 1991, analysis of serum for AQP4-IgG and MOG-IgG was performed from January 1 to April 30, 2017. A total of 177 patients from the ONTT with acute optic neuritis and serum available for analysis were enrolled from 13 academic referral centers.

Interventions  Analysis of serum for AQP4-IgG and MOG-IgG was performed at Mayo Clinic Neuroimmunology Laboratory in 2017 with a flow cytometry, live cell, AQP4- and MOG-transfected cell-based assay.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Aquaporin-4–IgG and MOG-IgG serostatus.

Results  Of the 177 patients in the study (135 women and 42 men; mean [SD] age, 32.8 [6.9] years), 3 were positive for MOG-IgG (1.7%) and none were positive for AQP4-IgG. All 3 patients positive for MOG-IgG had disc edema at presentation. Two patients later had a single episode of recurrent optic neuritis. All 3 patients had complete recovery of visual acuity, and none were corticosteroid dependent, although peripheral visual field loss persisted in 1 patient. None of the 3 patients positive for MOG-IgG had demyelinating lesions on magnetic resonance imaging scans, and none had developed multiple sclerosis at the 15-year follow-up.

Conclusions and Relevance  Frequency of MOG-IgG was rare in the ONTT, and AQP4-IgG was not found in patients in the ONTT. Characteristics of patients positive for MOG-IgG in the ONTT support the previously described phenotype of MOG-IgG optic neuritis. Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–related disease appears to be a different entity than multiple sclerosis. Overall, AQP4-IgG and MOG-IgG may be less common in isolated optic neuritis than previously reported.

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