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Earlier Diagnostic Criteria

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In this article

Overview

The MS literature contains many references to diagnostic criteria that preceded the current McDonald Criteria. The Schumacher and Poser criteria are presented here.

Schumacher criteria

 Schumacher Committee Criteria for the Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

The Schumacher Committee (Schumacher et al., 1965) developed the first official criteria for the diagnosis of MS, from which all subsequent criteria have been derived.

  • Onset of symptoms between 10 and 50 years of age
  • Objective abnormalities on the neurologic exam
  • The signs and symptoms indicate CNS white matter damage
  • The lesions are disseminated in space (two or more separate lesions)
  • The lesions are disseminated in time (two attacks at least one month apart)
  • No better explanation

The Schumacher criteria were based purely on clinical findings.

Poser criteria

The Poser Committee (Poser et al., 1983) developed a set of criteria that standardized the role of evoked potentials and spinal fluid evaluations to document asymptomatic damage in the central nervous system, thereby confirming dissemination in space and time. In addition, the Poser criteria could be used to determine whether a person had possible, probably, or definite MS

  Attacks Clinical Lesions   Laboratory or Paraclinical lesions Csf Bands or IgG
Clinically definite MS

2

2

2

1

 

and

 

1

 

Laboratory-supported definite MS

2

1

1

1

2

1

or

 

and

1

 

1

+

+

+

Clinically probable MS

2

1

1

1

2

1

 

 

 

and

 

 

1

 

Laboratory-supported probable MS

2

 

 

 

+


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