Publications & Posters

Serum Neurofilament Light Chain in Pediatric MS and Other Acquired Demyelinating Syndromes


Wong YYM, Bruijstens AL, Barro C, Michalak Z, Melief MJ, Wierenga AF, van Pelt ED, Neuteboom RF, Kuhle J and Hintzen RQ

Neurology. 2019 Aug 5. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008057

doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008057.

This study was peformed using a Simoa® Homebrew assay.



To explore the correlation between serum and CSF neurofilament light chain (NfL) and the association of NfL levels and future disease activity in pediatric patients with a first attack of acquired demyelinating syndromes (ADS).


In total, 102 children <18 years with a first attack of CNS demyelination and 23 age-matched controls were included. Clinically definite multiple sclerosis (CDMS) was set as an endpoint for analysis. CSF NfL was tested by the commercially available ELISA (UmanDiagnostics); serum NfL (sNfL) was tested with a Simoa assay. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated with Cox regression analysis.


Of the 102 patients, 47 (46%) were tested for CSF NfL. CSF and serum NfL correlated significantly in the total group (ρ 0.532, p < 0.001) and even more significantly in the subgroup of patients with future CDMS diagnosis (ρ 0.773, p < 0.001). sNfL was higher in patients than in controls (geometric mean 6.1 pg/mL, p < 0.001), and was highest in ADS presenting with encephalopathy (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, n = 28, 100.4 pg/mL), followed by patients without encephalopathy (ADS-) with future CDMS diagnosis (n = 40, 32.5 pg/mL), and ADS- who remained monophasic (n = 34, 17.6 pg/mL). sNfL levels higher than a median of 26.7 pg/mL at baseline are associated with a shorter time to CDMS diagnosis in ADS- (p = 0.045). HR for CDMS diagnosis was 1.09 for each 10 pg/mL increase of sNfL, after correction for age, oligoclonal bands, and MRI measures (p = 0.012).


The significant correlation between CSF and serum NfL strengthens its reliability as a peripheral marker of neuroaxonal damage. Higher sNfL levels at baseline were associated with higher probability of future CDMS diagnosis in ADS-.