Andrew McKeon, M.D., M.B., B.Ch., and Sean J. Pittock, M.D., Answer Questions about Mayo Clinic’s New MOG Test

Andrew McKeon, M.D., M.B., B.Ch., and Sean J. Pittock, M.D., neurologists and members of the autoimmune neurology laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, answer questions about Mayo Clinic's new test.

Mayo Clinic has developed the first test available in the US to identify the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody in patients' blood. How does this test help with the diagnosis of inflammatory demyelinating diseases?

The MOG antibody can distinguish a spectrum of autoimmune demyelinating diseases from multiple sclerosis (MS). Testing positive for the MOG antibody indicates that a patient doesn't have classical MS.

That's important because diseases associated with the MOG antibody—as well as diseases associated with the water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody, which was discovered at Mayo Clinic—are commonly misdiagnosed as MS. Yet some MS medications have been reported to worsen diseases that mimic MS.

Mayo Medical Laboratories offers testing for both MOG and AQP4 antibodies, either separately or in combination. Combined testing allows for the most comprehensive evaluation for patients with recently diagnosed demyelinating diseases.

Which patients would benefit from this antibody testing?

Any patient who suddenly presents with vision loss, significant disk edema, or recurrent optic neuritis should consider testing for both MOG and AQP4 antibodies. Patients who have more than one episode of optic neuritis absolutely should have testing. An optic neuritis seems to be a very common presentation of MOG.

Our test has great sensitivity and specificity. It uses a completely novel method of flow cytometry developed by Mayo Clinic to identify patient antibody binding to the MOG protein that is expressed on living cells.

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