Daniel Ontaneda, MD, PhD: How Multiple Sclerosis Can Be Misdiagnosed

June 19, 2020

The neurologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis and co-principal investigator of the CAVS-MS study discusses the reasons for the high rates of misdiagnosed MS.

“Although MRI has been a very useful tool, and a very sensitive tool for the diagnosis of MS, perhaps there is some room to increase the specificity of the diagnostic criteria.”

Earlier this month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a $7.2 million grant to Cleveland Clinic for a prospective research study, referred to as CAVS-MS, to uncover more about central vein sign (CVS), and whether it can serve as a reliable biomarker for multiple sclerosis (MS).

The prospective study, referred to as CAVS-MS, will enroll 400 patients with typical or atypical presentations of MS at 11 participating centers in North America, with Cleveland Clinic serving as the coordinating center. The study is being conducted under the auspices of the North American Imaging in MS Cooperative. The co-principal investigator of the study and neurologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis, Daniel Ontaneda, MD, PhD, believes that up to 20% of MS diagnoses turn out to be inaccurate. If it shows efficacy, CVS may be able to improve diagnostic accuracy and simplify clinical decision-making.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Ontaneda detailed the many reasons why misdiagnosis rates are so high in MS, and placed emphasis on diagnosing and treating patients as early as possible.