Muscle damage in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder

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Increasing evidence has shown that skeletal muscle damage plays a role in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). The objective of this study was to compare the serum creatine kinase (sCK) levels in NMOSD patients with different clinical statuses.


In the observational study, levels of sCK were measured during the acute and stable phases for patients with NMOSD and healthy controls (HCs).


We enrolled 168 patients with NMOSD (female:male ratio, 153:15; age: 43.9 ± 13.1 years) in the acute phase, and blood samples were collected from 85 of the patients with NMOSD during both acute and stable phases to determine the sCK levels. The mean log sCK levels of the patients with NMOSD in the acute phase were higher (4.51 ± 1.17, n = 85) than those of the patients with NMOSD in the stable phase (3.85 ± 0.81, n = 85, p = 0.000). Furthermore, the log sCK levels of the patients with NMOSD in the stable phase were lower than those of the HCs (4.31 ± 0.39, n = 200, p = 0.000). In patients with sCK levels within the normal limits, these differences were also observed (p < 0.05). In the multivariable linear regression model performed for the patients with NMOSD in the acute phase, it suggested that a higher estimated glomerular filtration rate (p = 0.026), patients with the core clinical characteristics of optic neuritis (p = 0.005), and serum anti-SSA positivity (p = 0.019) predicted lower log sCK levels.


Muscle damage occurs in patients with NMOSD and is aggravated during the acute phase.

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