Serum neurofilament light chain and optical coherence tomography measures in MS: A longitudinal study

Eleonora Tavazzi, Dejan Jakimovski, Jens Kuhle, Jesper Hagemeier, Osman Ozel, Murali Ramanathan, Christian Barro, Niels Bergsland, Davorka Tomic, Harald Kropshofer, David Leppert, Zuzanna Michalak, Norah Lincoff, Michael G. Dwyer, Ralph H.B. Benedict, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, Robert Zivadinov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To study the association between serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) and multiple optical coherence tomography (OCT) measures in patients with MS and healthy controls (HCs). METHODS: In this prospective study, 110 patients with MS were recruited, together with 52 age- and sex-matched HCs. Clinical evaluation and spectral domain OCT and sNfL were obtained at baseline and after 5.5 years of follow-up. Nested linear mixed models were used to assess differences between MS vs HC and associations between sNfL and OCT measures. Partial correlation coefficients are reported, and p values were adjusted for the false discovery rate. RESULTS: At baseline, peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (pRNFLT) and macular ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer thickness (mGCIP) were significantly lower in MS than HC both in MS-associated optic neuritis (MSON) (p = 0.007, p = 0.001) and nonaffected MSON (n-MSON) eyes (p = 0.003, p = 0.018), along with total macular volume (TMV) in n-MSON eyes (p = 0.011). At follow-up, MS showed significantly lower pRNFLT, mGCIP, and TMV both in MSON and n-MSON eyes (p < 0.001) compared with HC. In MS n-MSON eyes, sNfL was significantly associated with baseline pRNFLT and mGCIP (q = 0.019). No significant associations were found in MSON eyes. CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms the ability of sNfL to detect neurodegeneration in MS and advocates for the inclusion of sNfL and OCT measures in clinical trials. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class III evidence that sNfL levels were associated with MS neurodegeneration measured by OCT.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurology(R) neuroimmunology & neuroinflammation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Serum neurofilament light chain and optical coherence tomography measures in MS: A longitudinal study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this