Relationship between retinal inner nuclear layer, age, and disease activity in progressive MS

Maria Cellerino, Christian Cordano, Giacomo Boffa, Giulia Bommarito, Maria Petracca, Elvira Sbragia, Giovanni Novi, Caterina Lapucci, Elisabetta Capello, Antonio Uccelli, Matilde Inglese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ObjectiveTo investigate whether inner nuclear layer (INL) thickness as assessed with optical coherence tomography differs between patients with progressive MS (P-MS) according to age and disease activity.MethodsIn this retrospective longitudinal analysis, differences in terms of peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL), ganglion cell layer + inner plexiform layer (GCIPL), INL and T1/T2 lesion volumes (T1LV/T2LV) were assessed between 84 patients with P-MS and 36 sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HCs) and between patients stratified according to age (cut-off: 51 years) and evidence of clinical/MRI activity in the previous 12 monthsResultspRNFL and GCIPL thickness were significantly lower in patients with P-MS than in HCs (p = 0.003 and p < 0.0001, respectively). INL was significantly thicker in patients aged < 51 years compared to the older ones and HCs (38.2 vs 36.5 and 36.7 m; p = 0.038 and p = 0.04, respectively) and in those who presented MRI activity (new T2/gadolinium-enhancing lesions) in the previous 12 months compared to the ones who did not and HCs (39.5 vs 36.4 and 36.7 m; p = 0.003 and p = 0.008, respectively). Recent MRI activity was significantly predicted by greater INL thickness (Nagelkerke R2 0.36, p = 0.001).ConclusionsINL thickness was higher in younger patients with P-MS with recent MRI activity, a criterion used in previous studies to identify a specific subset of patients with P-MS who best responded to disease-modifying treatment. If this finding is confirmed, we suggest that INL thickness might be a useful tool in stratification of patients with P-MS for current and experimental treatment choice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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