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Neurology. 2008 Sep 23;71(13):967-73. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000316193.89691.e1. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

Prognostic factors after a first attack of inflammatory CNS demyelination in children.

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Department of Neurology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



To identify clinical, radiologic, or CSF factors that predict conversion to multiple sclerosis (MS) after a first attack of inflammatory demyelination in children.


In this nationwide retrospective multicenter study in the Netherlands, 117 children below age 16 were included. Fifty-four children presented with a monofocal clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and 63 children with a polyfocal CIS (PCIS).


A second MS-defining attack occurred in 43% of the CIS cases, compared to 21% of the patients with PCIS onset (p < 0.006). Basal ganglia and thalamic lesions and lesions larger than 2 cm on MRI (considered typical of ADEM) were observed during PCIS, irrespective of the presence of encephalopathy. No significant difference in developing MS was found in children with PCIS with or without encephalopathy. Elevated IgG index and presence of oligoclonal CSF bands were more often observed in children who developed MS. Both Barkhof and KIDMUS MRI criteria shared a high specificity and had a high positive predictive value for conversion to MS. In children under the age of 10, the Barkhof criteria had a higher sensitivity than the KIDMUS criteria, but still lower than in older children.


Barkhof and KIDMUS MRI criteria share a high specificity and positive prognostic value for conversion to multiple sclerosis (MS). Sensitivity of these criteria is poor, especially in children below 10 years of age. Basal ganglia lesions can occur in patients who later develop MS. A substantial number of patients presenting with polyfocal onset and no encephalopathy remained monophasic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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