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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2019 May;31(3):250-255. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000603.

Treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.

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1
Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

This review discusses concepts for diagnosing neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD), distinguishing NMOSD from other inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, and highlights recent and forthcoming data on acute and maintenance therapy of NMOSD.

RECENT FINDINGS:

The neurologic manifestations of NMOSD are heterogenous, extending beyond classic presentations of optic neuritis and longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis. NMOSD may be comorbid with rheumatologic diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, but is recognized as a distinct entity. Recent studies of acute treatment of NMOSD support early use of plasmapheresis. Relapse prevention is essential, as relapses can be disabling and patients may have only partial recovery. Current practice generally recommends at least 5 years of maintenance treatment. Recent randomized data demonstrates superiority of rituximab over azathioprine. Phase 3 trials have recently been completed or are underway studying novel therapies employing B-cell depletion, complement inhibition, and cell-based mechanisms (among other mechanisms) for maintenance therapy of NMOSD.

SUMMARY:

NMOSD is a heterogeneous but well-defined clinical entity, distinct from other neurologic and systemic inflammatory diseases, and treatment is poised for expansion.

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