Objectives To compare retinal nerve fiber (RNFL) thickness and conventional and non-conventional MRI characteristics of healthy controls (HCs) from the general population (non-fHC) to healthy relatives of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients (fHC). Methods Sixty-eight (68) HCs underwent optical coherence tomography (OCT) and 3T MRI examination. Subjects were classified based on whether or not there was a family history of MS. The study enrolled 40 non-fHC who had no relatives with MS and 28 fHC with at least one relative affected with MS. The associations between OCT parameters and conventional and non-conventional MRI measures were investigated. Results There were no significant OCT or conventional and non-conventional MRI measureable differences between the non-fHC and fHC groups. Periventricular localization and total volume of white matter (WM) signal abnormalities (SA) were more common in the fHC group but the differences did not reach a level of significance. A significant association between decreased RNFL thickness with increased volume (p = 0.001), number (p = 0.003) and frequency of ≥9 T2 (p = 0.003) WM SAs on MRI was found in the fHC group. No association between OCT and MRI parameters was detected in the non-fHC group. Conclusion There is an association between decreased RNFL thickness on OCT and increased WM injury in healthy relatives of MS patients. Further studies should explore the pathophysiology of these findings.
- Healthy relatives of MS patients
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology