Fatigue and magnetic resonance imaging activity in multiple sclerosis

C. Mainero, J. Faroni, C. Gasperini, M. Filippi, E. Giugni, O. Ciccarelli, M. Rovaris, S. Bastianello, G. Comi, C. Pozzilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fatigue is a frequent and often severe symptom in multiple sclerosis. Pathogenic mechanisms proposed for fatigue include the release of proinflammatory cytokines, which is thought to have an important effect on changes in the bloodbrain barrier (BBB). To investigate whether fatigue is related to BBB disruption we studied 11 relapsing-remitting MS patients participating in a multicenter longitudinal study comparing the sensitivity of monthly enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after standard-dose and triple-dose injection of gadolinium-diethylene triaminopentoacetic acid (Gd-DTPA). Serial Gd-enhanced MRI studies were performed in two separate sessions every 4 weeks for 3 months. An expanded version of the Fatigue Severity Scale, including 29 items, was administered 24 h before each MRI examination. No relationship was found between the number and volume of Gd-enhancing lesions and fatigue scores at any monthly examination over the study period. Furthermore changes in MRI activity were not significantly related to changes in fatigue scores. These results were obtained on triple-dose delayed scanning, which is more sensitive than standard-dose scanning in detecting areas of BBB disruption. Our preliminary results thus do not support the hypothesis of a relationship between BBB alterations and fatigue severity in multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-458
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Fatigue
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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