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ECTRIMS 2021 | Retinal atrophy independent of optic neuritis in AQP4+ NMOSD

While progression independent of relapse activity is well recognized in multiple sclerosis (MS), the presence of ongoing disease activity in aquaporin-4 (AQP4) seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is more controversial. Elias Sotirchos, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, discusses a series of investigations aiming to assess ongoing disease activity independent of clinical relapses in NMOSD and its role in long-term disability accumulation. Individual retinal layer thinning was measured by optical coherence tomography to assess retinal neuroaxonal loss. Dr Sotirchos shares findings from a cross-sectional study that demonstrated retinal layer thinning in NMOSD outside of the context of optic neuritis. A longitudinal study was then conducted which showed faster inner retinal layer atrophy in patients with NMOSD over time, compared to healthy controls. NMOSD cohorts continue to be followed and similar studies are being performed in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease (MOGAD). This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) congress 2021.


Dr. Sotirchos has served on scientific advisory boards for Alexion, Viela Bio and Genentech, and has received speaker honoraria from Viela Bio and Biogen.