Publications & Posters

High serum neurofilament levels are observed close to disease activity events in pediatric-onset MS and MOG antibody-associated diseases

Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders | April 3, 2023

Ziaei A, Nasr Z, Hart J, Francisco C, Rutatangwa A, Leppert D, Kuhle J, Flanagan E, Waubant E. 

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2023



Serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) is an emerging multiple sclerosis (MS) biomarker which measures neuro-axonal damage. However, understanding its temporal association with disease activity in pediatric-onset MS (POMS) and Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease (MOGAD) remains limited.


To investigate the association of sNfL levels and time from disease activity in children with MS and MOGAD.


POMS and MOGAD cases with onset before 18 years of age were enrolled at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Regional Pediatric MS Center. Frequency-matched healthy subjects were recruited from general pediatric clinics. Serum samples were tested for MOG-IgG at Mayo Clinic using a live cell-based fluorescent activated cell sorting assay. sNfL levels were measured using single-molecule array (Simoa) technology measured in pg/mL. Data on demographics, clinical features, MRI, CSF, and treatment data were collected by chart review.


We included 201 healthy controls healthy controls, 142 POMS, and 20 confirmed MOGAD cases with available sNfL levels. The median (IQR) age at the time of sampling was 15.6 (3.9), 15.5 (3.1), and 8.8 (4.1) years for controls, POMS, and MOGAD, respectively. Median sNfL levels (pg/ml) were higher in POMS (19.6) and MOGAD (32.7) cases compared to healthy controls (3.9) (p<0.001). sNfL levels ≥100 pg/ml were only detected within four months of a clinical event or MRI activity in both POMS and MOGAD cases. In addition, sNfL levels were higher in POMS patients with new/enlarged T2 and gadolinium-enhanced lesions than those without MRI activity within four months of sampling in POMS cases.


High sNfL levels were observed close to clinical or MRI events in POMS and MOGAD. Our findings support sNfL as a biomarker of disease activity in pediatric demyelinating disorders