The McDonald criteria facilitate a reliable and early diagnosisSince 2001, for the diagnosis of MS neurologists have oriented themselves on the so-called McDonald criteria which integrate both clinical as well as paraclinical (i.e. MRT) findings. In 2010 these criteria were improved for the second time, and since then are recognized as the standard criteria for diagnosing MS. The most important criterion is still the detection of a spatial as well as temporal dissemination.
The McDonald criteria place particular importance on the results of imaging with MRT, which has lead to earlier, better and more reliable diagnosis of MS. However, comprehensive differential diagnosis is necessary. The criteria for diagnosing MS in children or adolescents are somewhat different.
A primary progressive MS (PPMS) normally poses a greater diagnostic challenge than relapsing-remitting MS. In 2000 a research group first developed the Thompson criteria for diagnosing PPMS, which were later included in the revised version of the McDonald criteria.