Vol 58, No 1 (2024)
Research Paper
Published online: 2023-07-19

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Clinical significance and prognostic value of serum autoantibody tests in multiple sclerosis

Samet Öncel1, Şule Şule Dalkılıç2, Saadet Sayan1, Elif Darol1, Ayşe Zafer2, Derya Kara2, Abdulkadir Tunç2
Pubmed: 37466321
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2024;58(1):60-65.


Introduction. It is known that multiple sclerosis (MS) often coexists with other autoimmune diseases. Hence, autoantibody (auto-Ab) tests may prove useful in the differential diagnosis of MS. The objectives of this study were to: (a) investigate the prevalence of auto-Ab positivity at the beginning of the MS diagnostic process; (b) assess whether Auto-Ab+ and Auto-Ab- patients differ in baseline clinical, laboratory, and radiological parameters; and (c) investigate the prognostic value during a two-year follow-up period.

Material and methods. This retrospective study consisted of 450 patients aged between 18 and 55 years. All patients underwent a wide range of auto-Ab tests, anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) tests in particular. The expanded disability status scale (EDSS) scores of the patients were recorded at the time of diagnosis and at the end of a two-year follow-up period.

Results. The mean age of the 212 patients, 148 (69.8%) female and 64 (30.2%) male, included in the study sample was 37 ± 10.83 years. The rate of relapsing cases was 84% (178). Oligoclonal band (OCB) was positive in 142 (86.6%) of the 164 tested cases. At least one of the auto-Ab tests was positive in 51 (24.1%) of the cases. ANA test was positive in 21 (9.9%) cases. There was no significant difference between patients with at least one positive auto-Ab test and without any positive auto-Ab test and between ANA-positive and ANA-negative patients in terms of age, gender, clinical features of MS, presence of brain stem lesion, presence of spinal lesion, OCB positivity, level of clinical improvement after the first pulse steroid treatment, family history, presence of comorbidity, presence of autoimmune disease, or EDSS scores recorded at the end of the two-year follow-up period (p > 0.05).

Conclusions. Our study findings revealed that Auto-Ab positivity was more common in MS patients than in the general population. However, given their limited contribution to the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of MS with no effect on the prognostic process, auto-Ab tests should be requested only in the event of accompanying autoimmune disease symptoms, and in cases where the diagnosis of MS may be suspected.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska