Positive Predictive Value of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Autoantibody Testing

Elia Sechi, Marina Buciuc, Sean J. Pittock, John J. Chen, James P. Fryer, Sarah M. Jenkins, Adrian Budhram, Brian G. Weinshenker, A. Sebastian Lopez-Chiriboga, Jan Mendelt Tillema, Andrew McKeon, John R. Mills, W. Oliver Tobin, Eoin P. Flanagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-IgG1-associated disorder (MOGAD) is a distinct central nervous system-demyelinating disease. Positive results on MOG-IgG1 testing by live cell-based assays can confirm a MOGAD diagnosis, but false-positive results may occur. Objective: To determine the positive predictive value (PPV) of MOG-IgG1 testing in a tertiary referral center. Design, Setting, and Participants: This diagnostic study was conducted over 2 years, from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2019. Patients in the Mayo Clinic who were consecutively tested for MOG-IgG1 by live cell-based flow cytometry during their diagnostic workup were included. Patients without research authorization were excluded. Main Outcomes and Measures: Medical records of patients who were tested were initially reviewed by 2 investigators blinded to MOG-IgG1 serostatus, and pretest probability was classified as high or low (suggestive of MOGAD or not). Testing of MOG-IgG1 used a live-cell fluorescence-activated cell-sorting assay; an IgG binding index value of 2.5 or more with an end titer of 1:20 or more was considered positive. Cases positive for MOG-IgG1 were independently designated by 2 neurologists as true-positive or false-positive results at last follow-up, based on current international recommendations on diagnosis or identification of alternative diagnoses; consensus was reached for cases in which disagreement existed. Results: A total of 1617 patients were tested, and 357 were excluded. Among 1260 included patients tested over 2 years, the median (range) age at testing was 46 (0-98) years, and 792 patients were female (62.9%). A total of 92 of 1260 (7.3%) were positive for MOG-IgG1. Twenty-six results (28%) were designated as false positive by the 2 raters, with an overall agreement on 91 of 92 cases (99%) for true and false positivity. Alternative diagnoses included multiple sclerosis (n = 11), infarction (n = 3), B12deficiency (n = 2), neoplasia (n = 2), genetically confirmed adrenomyeloneuropathy (n = 1), and other conditions (n = 7). The overall PPV (number of true-positive results/total positive results) was 72% (95% CI, 62%-80%) and titer dependent (PPVs: 1:1000, 100%; 1:100, 82%; 1:20-40, 51%). The median titer was higher with true-positive results (1:100 [range, 1:20-1:10000]) than false-positive results (1:40 [range, 1:20-1:100]; P <.001). The PPV was higher for children (94% [95% CI, 72%-99%]) vs adults (67% [95% CI, 56%-77%]) and patients with high pretest probability (85% [95% CI, 76%-92%]) vs low pretest probability (12% [95% CI, 3%-34%]). The specificity of MOG-IgG1 testing was 97.8%. Conclusions and Relevance: This study confirms MOG-IgG1 as a highly specific biomarker for MOGAD, but when using a cutoff of 1:20, it has a low PPV of 72%. Caution is advised in the interpretation of low titers among patients with atypical phenotypes, because ordering MOG-IgG1 in low pretest probability situations will increase the proportion of false-positive results..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-746
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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