Objectives: The characteristics of paediatric neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) may indicate the degree of disability and identify factors that predict the response to treatment.
Materials & Methods: Among 114 NMOSD patients in an acquired demyelinating syndromes registry at the Sina Hospital, in Tehran, Iran, 10 paediatric NMOSD patients with longitudinal follow-up from 2005 to 2016 were retrospectively identified. The median time between disease onset and diagnosis was 18 months (range 1-108 months).
Results: All patients had a relapsing course, which resulted in disability in six with severe visual impairment and functional blindness in one and impaired ambulation in five patients during follow-up. Azathioprine (AZA) was first drug of choice for prophylaxis, but in five patients new attacks occurred and therapy was switched to rituximab (RTX) with no further relapses after median two years (range 1-3 y) follow-up.
Conclusion: Paediatric onset of NMOSD was associated with severe attacks and poor response in 50 % of cases to AZA, RTX seemed to decrease the relapse rate.