Coagulation/Complement Activation and Cerebral Hypoperfusion in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

Tatiana Koudriavtseva, Annunziata Stefanile, Marco Fiorelli, Caterina Lapucci, Svetlana Lorenzano, Silvana Zannino, Laura Conti, Giovanna D’Agosto, Fulvia Pimpinelli, Enea Gino Di Domenico, Chiara Mandoj, Diana Giannarelli, Sara Donzelli, Giovanni Blandino, Marco Salvetti, Matilde Inglese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system with an underlying immune-mediated and inflammatory pathogenesis. Innate immunity, in addition to the adaptive immune system, plays a relevant role in MS pathogenesis. It represents the immediate non-specific defense against infections through the intrinsic effector mechanism “immunothrombosis” linking inflammation and coagulation. Moreover, decreased cerebral blood volume (CBV), cerebral blood flow (CBF), and prolonged mean transit time (MTT) have been widely demonstrated by MRI in MS patients. We hypothesized that coagulation/complement and platelet activation during MS relapse, likely during viral infections, could be related to CBF decrease. Our specific aims are to evaluate whether there are differences in serum/plasma levels of coagulation/complement factors between relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients (RRMS) in relapse and those in remission and healthy controls as well as to assess whether brain hemodynamic changes detected by MRI occur in relapse compared with remission. This will allow us to correlate coagulation status with perfusion and demographic/clinical features in MS patients. Materials and Methods: This is a multi-center, prospective, controlled study. RRMS patients (1° group: 30 patients in relapse; 2° group: 30 patients in remission) and age/sex-matched controls (3° group: 30 subjects) will be enrolled in the study. Patients and controls will be tested for either coagulation/complement (C3, C4, C4a, C9, PT, aPTT, fibrinogen, factor II, VIII, and X, D-dimer, antithrombin, protein C, protein S, von-Willebrand factor), soluble markers of endothelial damage (thrombomodulin, Endothelial Protein C Receptor), antiphospholipid antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, complete blood count, viral serological assays, or microRNA microarray. Patients will undergo dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced MRI using a 3.0-T scanner to evaluate CBF, CBV, MTT, lesion number, and volume. Statistical Analysis: ANOVA and unpaired t-tests will be used. The level of significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. Discussion: Identifying a link between activation of coagulation/complement system and cerebral hypoperfusion could improve the identification of novel molecular and/or imaging biomarkers and targets, leading to the development of new effective therapeutic strategies in MS. Clinical Trial Registration:, identifier NCT04380220.

Original languageEnglish
Article number548604
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 27 2020


  • cerebral hypoperfusion
  • coagulation
  • complement
  • infection
  • multiple sclerosis
  • platelets
  • relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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