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Eur J Neurol. 2012 Jun;19(6):812-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2011.03565.x. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Conventional brain MRI in neuromyelitis optica.

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Cuban Multiple Sclerosis Society, Havana, Cuba.



 Numerous case series have demonstrated that lesions on brain MRI are common in neuromyelitis optica (NMO), but there has not been an attempt to survey and synthesize the literature on neuro-radiology of brain findings in NMO.


 To review the studies on conventional brain MRI in NMO and to propose to incorporate characteristic brain MRI lesions into the diagnostic criteria of NMO.


  We searched for articles with descriptions of brain MRI findings in NMO in EBSCO, EMBASE, PubMed/Medline, Science Citation Index, and SCOPUS.


Brain abnormalities are seen in majority of NMO patients as disease duration increases. A minority of NMO patients meet Barkhof criteria for space dissemination in multiple sclerosis (MS), and these criteria should not be used to exclude NMO diagnosis. Distinctive brain lesions of NMO are cataloged and described.


 Brain lesions in NMO are a consistent feature of the disease. International consensus MRI criteria are needed for NMO analogous to the existing criteria for MS.

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