Objectives: Clinical and pathological significance of gadolinium (Gd)-enhancing pattern on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including ring enhancement (RE), is well documented in multiple sclerosis but not in neuromyelitis optica (NMO), especially in the spinal cord. The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence of spinal cord RE in NMO and to determine the association between clinical characteristics and spinal cord RE. Materials and methods: We retrospectively examined Gd-enhanced spinal cord MRI scans, during the acute phase, in patients with anti-aquaporin 4-positive NMO, including NMO spectrum disorder. We then analysed their clinical features and MRI imaging characteristics of spinal cord lesions. Results: Of the 30 patients with NMO, we enrolled 12 patients with 16 Gd-enhanced spinal cord MRI scans in this study. Five scans revealed RE (31.2%). Male ratio, as well as myelin basic protein (MBP) levels, in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with RE was significantly higher than those of patients without RE (P = 0.018, P = 0.026, respectively). Conclusions: Spinal cord RE is common in patients with NMO. Higher MBP levels in the CSF of patients with RE can be associated with a higher degree of myelin damage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas