Long-term disability progression in primary progressive multiple sclerosis: a 15-year study

Maria A. Rocca, Maria Pia Sormani, Marco Rovaris, Domenico Caputo, Angelo Ghezzi, Enrico Montanari, Antonio Bertolotto, Alice Laroni, Roberto Bergamaschi, Vittorio Martinelli, Giancarlo Comi, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Prognostic markers of primary progressive multiple sclerosis evolution are needed. We investigated the added value of magnetic resonance imaging measures of brain and cervical cord damage in predicting long-term clinical worsening of primary progressive multiple sclerosis compared to simple clinical assessment. In 54 patients, conventional and diffusion tensor brain scans and cervical cord T1-weighted scans were acquired at baseline and after 15 months. Clinical evaluation was performed after 5 and 15 years in 49 patients. Lesion load, brain and cord atrophy, mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy values from the brain normal-appearing white matter and grey matter were obtained. Using linear regression models, we screened the clinical and imaging variables as independent predictors of 15-year disability change (measured on the expanded disability status scale). At 15 years, 90% of the patients had disability progression. Integrating clinical and imaging variables at 15 months predicted disability changes at 15 years better than clinical factors at 5 years (R2 = 61% versus R2 = 57%). The model predicted long-term disability change with a precision within one point in 38 of 49 patients (77.6%). Integration of clinical and imaging measures allows identification of primary progressive multiple sclerosis patients at risk of long-term disease progression 4 years earlier than when using clinical assessment alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2814-2819
Number of pages6
JournalBrain : a journal of neurology
Volume140
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017

Keywords

  • disability
  • long-term
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • primary progressive multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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