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

MA Rocca, MP Sormani, M Rovaris, D Caputo, A Ghezzi, E Montanari, A Bertolotto, A Laroni, R Bergamaschi, V Martinelli, G Comi, M Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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 T 1 -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 (R 2 = 61% versus R 2 = 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. © The Author (2017).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2814-2819
Number of pages6
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term disability progression in primary progressive multiple sclerosis: A 15-year study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this