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Early imaging predictors of long-term outcomes in relapse-onset multiple sclerosis

Brownlee, WJ; Altmann, DR; Prados Carrasco, F; Miszkiel, KA; Eshaghi, A; Wheeler-Kingshott, C; Barkhof, F; (2019) Early imaging predictors of long-term outcomes in relapse-onset multiple sclerosis. Brain , 142 (8) pp. 2276-2287. 10.1093/brain/awz156.

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Abstract

The clinical course of relapse-onset multiple sclerosis is highly variable. Demographic factors, clinical features and global brain T2 lesion load have limited value in counselling individual patients. We investigated early MRI predictors of key long-term outcomes including secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, physical disability and cognitive performance, 15 years after a clinically isolated syndrome. A cohort of patients with clinically isolated syndrome (n = 178) was prospectively recruited within 3 months of clinical disease onset and studied with MRI scans of the brain and spinal cord at study entry (baseline) and after 1 and 3 years. MRI measures at each time point included: supratentorial, infratentorial, spinal cord and gadolinium-enhancing lesion number, brain and spinal cord volumetric measures. The patients were followed-up clinically after ∼15 years to determine disease course, and disability was assessed using the Expanded Disability Status Scale, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Multivariable logistic regression and multivariable linear regression models identified independent MRI predictors of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and Expanded Disability Status Scale, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test and Symbol Digit Modalities Test, respectively. After 15 years, 166 (93%) patients were assessed clinically: 119 (72%) had multiple sclerosis [94 (57%) relapsing-remitting, 25 (15%) secondary progressive], 45 (27%) remained clinically isolated syndrome and two (1%) developed other disorders. Physical disability was overall low in the multiple sclerosis patients (median Expanded Disability Status Scale 2, range 0–10); 71% were untreated. Baseline gadolinium-enhancing (odds ratio 3.16, P < 0.01) and spinal cord lesions (odds ratio 4.71, P < 0.01) were independently associated with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis at 15 years. When considering 1- and 3-year MRI variables, baseline gadolinium-enhancing lesions remained significant and new spinal cord lesions over time were associated with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Baseline gadolinium-enhancing (β = 1.32, P < 0.01) and spinal cord lesions (β = 1.53, P < 0.01) showed a consistent association with Expanded Disability Status Scale at 15 years. Baseline gadolinium-enhancing lesions was also associated with performance on the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (β = − 0.79, P < 0.01) and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (β = −0.70, P = 0.02) at 15 years. Our findings suggest that early focal inflammatory disease activity and spinal cord lesions are predictors of very long-term disease outcomes in relapse-onset multiple sclerosis. Established MRI measures, available in routine clinical practice, may be useful in counselling patients with early multiple sclerosis about long-term prognosis, and personalizing treatment plans.

Type: Article
Title: Early imaging predictors of long-term outcomes in relapse-onset multiple sclerosis
DOI: 10.1093/brain/awz156
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz156
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, clinically isolated syndrome, prognosis, magnetic resonance imaging
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neuroinflammation
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072582
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