Objective To evaluate the degree of blood-brain barrier disruption in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and to clarify whether the levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1) in patients with NMO can be useful biomarkers for blood-brain barrier breakdown.
Design Descriptive historical cohort.
Setting Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University.
Patients The levels of sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 in 25 patients with NMO, 21 patients with multiple sclerosis, and 20 patients with other noninflammatory neurologic disorders in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were measured using a multiplexed fluorescent magnetic bead–based immunoassay.
Main Outcome Measures Levels of the soluble adhesion molecules in serum and CSF and their associations with blood-brain barrier disruption.
Results The CSF levels of sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 increased in patients with NMO compared with patients with multiple sclerosis and other noninflammatory neurologic disorders (P < .001), and serum levels of sICAM-1 increased in patients with NMO compared with healthy control individuals (P = .003). The CSF sICAM-1 levels from patients with NMO were correlated with the albumin quotient (P = .02) and the presence of lesions detected via gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging.
Conclusions Severe blood-brain barrier breakdown occurs in patients with NMO. Measuring adhesion molecules is useful to evaluate this barrier disruption.