Basal vitamin D levels and disease activity in multiple sclerosis patients treated with fingolimod

L Ferrè, F Clarelli, G Sferruzza, MA Rocca, E Mascia, M Radaelli, Francesca Sangalli, G Dalla Costa, L Moiola, M Aboulwafa, F Martinelli Boneschi, G Comi, M Filippi, V Martinelli, F Esposito

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Background: Several studies have shown an association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels and multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility and/or level of disease activity in patients treated with first line drugs. Aims: To investigate whether baseline 25[OH] D values could influence disease activity also during treatment with the second-line drug fingolimod (FTY). Patients and methods: We enrolled 176 MS patients who started FTY at the San Raffaele Hospital (OSR) MS center with available 25[OH]D measurement at the time of treatment start. We then prospectively followed them for 2 years with periodic clinical examinations and MRI scans. Results: We found no linear correlation between baseline 25[OH] D levels and annualized relapse rate (ARR) or time to first relapse. However, we observed that patients with serum 25[OH]D ≥ 100 nmol/l showed a lower number of Gd+ and combined unique activity (CUA) lesions at baseline compared to patients with the lowest 25[OH] D levels (less than 50 nmol/l, p value < 0.05). Moreover, they showed fewer CUA lesions at 2-year follow-up also when accounting for baseline level of disease activity (p value < 0.05). Conclusions: In patients treated with FTY, those with the highest baseline 25(OH)D levels had a significantly lower number of active lesions at baseline; the same effect, even if weaker, was observed also at 2-year follow-up when adjusting for baseline disease activity. Given Vitamin D supplementation safety profile, also if a causal effect has not yet been shown, most of MS patients could probably benefit from 25[OH]D levels above those currently considered to be sufficient. © 2018 Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1467-1470
Number of pages4
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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