A cross-sectional, multicentre study of the therapeutic management of multiple sclerosis relapses in Italy

Pietro Annovazzi, Valentina Tomassini, Benedetta Bodini, Laura Boffa, Massimiliano Calabrese, Eleonora Cocco, Cinzia Cordioli, Giovanna De Luca, Giovanni Frisullo, Antonio Gallo, Simona Malucchi, Damiano Paolicelli, Ilaria Pesci, Marta Radaelli, Paolo Ragonese, Luca Roccatagliata, Carla Tortorella, Marco Vercellino, Valentina Zipoli, Claudio GasperiniMariaemma Rodegher, Claudio Solaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the existence of therapeutic guidelines, management of multiple sclerosis relapse remains heterogeneous. Optimisation of relapse outcome demands an improved understanding of the neurologist's therapeutic attitude towards relapse management, which is the aim of this study. Neurologists from 13 multiple sclerosis centres completed a questionnaire every time they assessed multiple sclerosis relapses. The questionnaire requested a guided description of the relapse's clinical characteristics and an indication of the prescribed therapy, supported with up to 3 out of 20 suggested reasons. Over 3 months, 368 questionnaires were collected. Median percentage (%) of 21 relapses resulting in a prescription was 88.9%. Corticosteroids represented the most frequent prescription. A short-course of high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone was the most used corticosteroid (73.7%). Treatment was administrated mainly in day case unit (80.0%) and at home (13.6%). A tapered therapy was prescribed to 28.8% of patients. Neurologists' therapeutic decisions were driven mainly by relapse severity (45.3%) and symptom evolution (24.2%). Our study confirms the therapeutic attitude of multiple sclerosis specialists in treating relapses with high-dose intravenous corticosteroids in a day hospital setting, with a tapering in a proportion of cases. The main reasons for prescription are relapse severity and symptom evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Corticosteroids
  • Management
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Relapse
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology


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