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J Neurol Sci. 2015 Apr 15;351(1-2):31-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2015.02.012. Epub 2015 Feb 13.

Analysis of the treatment of neuromyelitis optica.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, New York University Langone Medical Center, USA. Electronic address: jose.torres2@nyumc.org.
2
Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
3
Department of Neurology, New York University Langone Medical Center, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Treatment options for neuromyelitis optica (NMO) are currently based on small retrospective case series and open label studies, ranging from 10 to 103 patients.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the efficacy and tolerability of azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate, and rituximab in patients with neuromyelitis optica.

METHODS:

This is a retrospective chart review and telephone follow-up study of 71 patients with NMO or NMO spectrum disorder, 54 of whom were treated with the study drugs. We compared adverse events, annualized relapse rates and expanded disability status scales before and after treatment.

RESULTS:

The median ARR decreased from 1.17 to 0.25 on rituximab (P<0.01), 0.92 to 0.56 on azathioprine (P=0.475), 1.06 to 0.39 on mycophenolate (P<0.05) and 1.30 to 0.92 on cyclophosphamide (P=0.746). When compared directly to azathioprine, rituximab significantly reduced relapse rates (P=0.021). The median EDSS decreased from 7 to 5 on rituximab (P<0.01) and 7 to 6 on azathioprine (P<0.01), and did not change significantly on mycophenolate (4 to 5; P=0.463) or cyclophosphamide (6.5 to 6.5; P=0.881). Twenty-five percent of patients noted adverse events on rituximab, 36% on azathioprine, 36% on mycophenolate, and 80% on cyclophosphamide.

CONCLUSION:

Rituximab significantly reduces relapse rates and improves disability while maintaining comparable tolerability to other immunosuppressive treatments for NMO.

KEYWORDS:

Azathioprine; Devic's syndrome; Mycophenolate; NMO; Neuromyelitis optica; Rituximab; Treatment

PMID:
25727350
DOI:
10.1016/j.jns.2015.02.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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