Factors associated with the effectiveness of plasma exchange for the treatment of NMO-IgG-positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.

Research paper by Young-Min YM Lim, So Young SY Pyun, Bong-Hui BH Kang, Jimin J Kim, Kwang-Kuk KK Kim

Indexed on: 25 Dec '12Published on: 25 Dec '12Published in: Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)


To identify factors associated with plasma exchange response in neuromyelitis optica (NMO) spectrum disorders, the clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of 31 NMO-IgG-positive patients receiving plasma exchange for steroid-resistant exacerbations were analyzed. Functional improvement was observed in 65% of the patients. A lower baseline Expanded Disability Status Scale score was associated with favorable response (p = 0.040). Patients without cord atrophy had a higher success rate than patients with atrophy (p = 0.016). Levels of NMO-IgG did not differ between responders and non-responders before and after plasma exchange. In conclusion, a minimal pre-existing disability is the primary determinant of the effectiveness of plasma exchange.