Frequency of NMOSD misdiagnosis in a cohort from Latin America: Impact and evaluation of different contributors

Edgar Carnero Contentti, Pablo A. López, Juan Criniti, Ricardo Alonso, Berenice Silva, Geraldine Luetic, Edgar Patricio Correa-Díaz, Lorna Galleguillos, Carlos Navas, Ibis Soto de Castillo, Fernando Diaz de Bedoya Hamuy, Fernando Gracia, Verónica Tkachuk, Brian G. Weinshenker, Juan Ignacio Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) misdiagnosis (i.e. the incorrect diagnosis of patients who truly have NMOSD) remains an issue in clinical practice. We determined the frequency and factors associated with NMOSD misdiagnosis in patients evaluated in a cohort from Latin America. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients with NMOSD, according to the 2015 diagnostic criteria, from referral clinics in six Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela). Diagnoses prior to NMOSD and ultimate diagnoses, demographic, clinical and paraclinical data, and treatment schemes were evaluated. Results: A total of 469 patients presented with an established diagnosis of NMOSD (73.2% seropositive) and after evaluation, we determined that 56 (12%) patients had been initially misdiagnosed with a disease other than NMOSD. The most frequent alternative diagnoses were multiple sclerosis (MS; 66.1%), clinically isolated syndrome (17.9%), and cerebrovascular disease (3.6%). NMOSD misdiagnosis was determined by MS/NMOSD specialists in 33.9% of cases. An atypical MS syndrome was found in 86% of misdiagnosed patients, 50% had NMOSD red flags in brain and/or spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and 71.5% were prescribed disease-modifying drugs. Conclusions: NMOSD misdiagnosis is relatively frequent in Latin America (12%). Misapplication and misinterpretation of clinical and neuroradiological findings are relevant factors associated with misdiagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Latin American
  • misdiagnosis
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Frequency of NMOSD misdiagnosis in a cohort from Latin America: Impact and evaluation of different contributors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this