Central nervous system inflammatory demyelinating disorders among Hong Kong Chinese

K. H. Chan, R. Lee, J. C.Y. Lee, A. C.T. Tse, S. Y.Y. Pang, G. K.K. Lau, K. C. Teo, P. W.L. Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Classical multiple sclerosis (CMS) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) are distinct central nervous system inflammatory demyelinating disorders (CNS IDD). Early diagnosis of CNS IDD is important as appropriate immunotherapies to optimize prognosis. We studied the diagnoses of CNS IDD among Hong Kong Chinese in a hospital-based setting. Consecutive Chinese patients who presented to our hospital with clinically isolated syndrome and subsequently diagnosed to have CNS IDD from 1980 to 2010 were reviewed. Patients with known diagnosis of CNS IDD referred for further care were excluded. Serial sera were assayed for aquaporin-4 autoantibodies (AQP4 Ab), at least 3 assays within 2-5. years. A total of 210 patients diagnosed to have CNS IDD with disease duration of at least 2. years were studied. Among 198 patients with serial sera available, 40 (20.2%, 20 had NMO and 20 other NMOSD) were AQP4 Ab-positive. Four patients who were AQP4 Ab-negative on the initial assay converted to AQP4 Ab-positive on repeated assays. The diagnoses of 210 patients were CMS in 88 (41.9%), NMOSD 47 (22.4%, 27 NMO, 20 other NMOSD), single attack of myelitis 23 (11.0%), single attack of optic neuritis 21 (10.0%), relapsing myelitis 10 (4.8%), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) 9 (4.3%), relapsing optic neuritis in 6 (2.9%), opticospinal multiple sclerosis 3 (1.4%) and single attack of brainstem encephalitis 3 (1.4%). Compared to CMS, NMOSD patients had older onset age, lower frequencies of brain MRI abnormalities and CSF OCB, higher frequency of LETM, higher CNS inflammation attack frequency in the first 2. years, worse clinical outcome with higher EDSS score and mortality rate. This hospital-based study suggests that CMS (41.9%) and NMOSD (22.4%) are the most common CNS IDD among Hong Kong Chinese. NMOSD has worse clinical outcome than CMS. Detection of AQP4 Ab facilitates early diagnosis and prompts immunotherapies of NMOSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquaporin-4 autoantibodies
  • Classical multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammatory demyelinating disorders
  • Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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