Abnormal cervical lymph nodes in multiple sclerosis: a preliminary ultrasound study

Francesca Di Giuliano, Maria Albanese, Eliseo Picchi, Francesco Mori, Fabio Buttari, Girolama Alessandra Marfia, Francesco Garaci, Nicola Biagio Mercuri, Roberto Floris, Diego Centonze, Simone Marziali

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cervical lymph nodes are the first drainage stations of the brain and therefore play a key role in neuroinflammatory disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate, by using ultrasound imaging, cervical lymph nodes in patients with multiple sclerosis and to ascertain if such patients have any clinical features to attest their role.

METHODS: We enrolled 43 patients affected by relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (22 drug free and 21 under treatment with natalizumab or fingolimod), who underwent ultrasound examination. The morphology, diameters and volume of cervical lymph nodes were measured. We evaluated also a control group of 20 healthy volunteers.

RESULTS: Between-group comparisons showed that the mean anteroposterior diameters in the cervical lymph nodes on both sides of the neck were significantly different (χ2 = 19.5, p < 0.001 for right; χ2 = 20.0, p < 0.001 for left). Post hoc contrasts showed that the mean anteroposterior diameters were greater both in drug-naive (mean ± SD 0.66 ± 0.20 cm; p < 0.001) and treated patients (0.55 ± 0.24 cm; p < 0.001) compared to healthy individuals (0.36 ± 0.19 cm). Moreover, significant difference (p < 0.001) was shown on comparing the mean volume of the cervical lymph nodes on both sides of the neck in the studied groups. No significant differences emerged between the drug-free and treated patients.

CONCLUSION: The abnormalities shown by ultrasound in cervical lymph nodes are related to deep ones and independent of the ongoing treatment, suggesting a relationship between lymphatic drainage and disease pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalRadiologia Medica
Volume123
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 7 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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    Di Giuliano, F., Albanese, M., Picchi, E., Mori, F., Buttari, F., Marfia, G. A., Garaci, F., Mercuri, N. B., Floris, R., Centonze, D., & Marziali, S. (2017). Abnormal cervical lymph nodes in multiple sclerosis: a preliminary ultrasound study. Radiologia Medica, 123(3), 202-208. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11547-017-0829-4