Serum neurofilament light chain levels are increased in patients with a clinically isolated syndrome

Giulio Disanto, Rocco Adiutori, Ruth Dobson, Vittorio Martinelli, Gloria Dalla Costa, Tessel Runia, Evgeniy Evdoshenko, Eric Thouvenot, Maria Trojano, Niklas Norgren, Charlotte Teunissen, Ludwig Kappos, Gavin Giovannoni, Jens Kuhle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Neurofilament light chain (NfL) represents a promising biomarker for axonal injury. We present the first exploratory study on serum NfL in patients with a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and healthy controls. Methods We investigated serum NfL levels in 100 patients with CIS with a short conversion interval to clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS) (fast converters (FC), median (IQR) conversion time: 110 days (79-139)); 98 patients with non-converting CIS (non-converters (NC), follow-up: 6.5 years (5.3-7.9)); and 92 healthy controls. Results NfL levels were higher in FC (24.1 pg/mL (13.5-51.8)) and NC (19.3 pg/mL (13.6-35.2)) than in healthy controls (7.9 pg/mL (5.6-17.2)) (OR=5.85; 95% CI 2.63 to 13.02; p=1.5×10-5 and OR=7.03; 95% CI 2.85 to 17.34; p=2.3×10-5, respectively). When grouping FC and NC, increased serum NfL concentration was also associated with increasing numbers of T2 hyperintense MRI lesions (OR=2.36; 95% CI 1.21 to 4.59; p=0.011), gadolinium-enhancing lesions (OR=2.69; 95% CI 1.13 to 6.41; p=0.026) and higher disability scores (OR=2.54; 95% CI 1.21 to 5.31; p=0.013) at CIS diagnosis. Conclusions If replicated in future studies, serum NfL may represent a reliable and easily accessible biomarker of early axonal damage in CIS and MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-129
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Surgery
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Serum neurofilament light chain levels are increased in patients with a clinically isolated syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this