Acquired demyelinating syndromes (ADS) are immune-mediated demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system in children. A nationwide, multicentre and prospective cohort study was initiated in the Netherlands in 2006, with a reported ADS incidence of 0.66/100,000 per year and MS incidence of 0.15/100,000 per year in the period between 2007 and 2010. In this study, we provide an update on the incidence and the long-term follow-up of ADS in the Netherlands.
Children <18 years with a first attack of demyelination were included consecutively from January 2006 to December 2016. Diagnoses were based on the International Paediatric MS study group consensus criteria. Outcome data were collected by neurological and neuropsychological assessments, and telephone call assessments.
Between 2011 and 2016, 55/165 of the ADS patients were diagnosed with MS (33%). This resulted in an increased ADS and MS incidence of 0.80/100,000 per year and 0.26/100,000 per year, respectively. Since 2006 a total of 243 ADS patients have been included. During follow-up (median 55 months, IQR 28-84), 137 patients were diagnosed with monophasic disease (56%), 89 with MS (37%) and 17 with multiphasic disease other than MS (7%). At least one form of residual deficit including cognitive impairment was observed in 69% of all ADS patients, even in monophasic ADS. An Expanded Disability Status Scale score of ae<5.5 was reached in 3/89 MS patients (3%).
The reported incidence of ADS in Dutch children has increased since 2010. Residual deficits are common in this group, even in monophasic patients. Therefore, long-term follow-up in ADS patients is warranted.