Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis

Diagnose MS using the 2017 McDonald Criteria


The 2017 McDonald Criteria for Diagnosis of MS were compiled by the International Panel on Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Patients must meet criteria for dissemination in space (i.e, more than one brain/spinal cord area involved), and dissemination in time. An attack, when it consists only of worsening of previous symptoms in the context of a secondary cause (e.g. a fever or infection), should not be used to meet criteria. The main revisions from the 2010 McDonald Criteria are: symptomatic lesions can now be used to demonstrate dissemination in space or time in patients with supratentorial, infratentorial, or spinal cord syndrome, positive CSF oligoclonal bands can now be used to fulfill dissemination in time, and cortical lesions can now be utilized to demonstrate dissemination in space.


Thompson, A., Banwell, B., Barkhof, F., Carroll, W., Coetzee, T., Comi, G., Correale, J., Fazekas, F., Filippi, M., Freedman, M., Fujihara, K., Galetta, S., Hartung, H., Kappos, L., Lublin, F., Marrie, R., Miller, A., Miller, D., Montalban, X., Mowry, E., Sorensen, P., Tintoré, M., Traboulsee, A., Trojano, M., Uitdehaag, B., Vukusic, S., Waubant, E., Weinshenker, B., Reingold, S. and Cohen, J.

Lancet Neurology 2018, 17 (2): 162-173

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1. At least 1 distinct clinical attack? (Use caution if only using subjective history to define an attack.)

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