Predicting clinical progression in multiple sclerosis with the magnetic resonance disease severity scale

Rohit Bakshi, Mohit Neema, Brian C. Healy, Zsuzsanna Liptak, Rebecca A. Betensky, Guy J. Buckle, Susan A. Gauthier, James Stankiewicz, Dominik Meier, Svetlana Egorova, Ashish Arora, Zachary D. Guss, Bonnie Glanz, Samia J. Khoury, Charles R.G. Guttmann, Howard L. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous Presentation: This study was presented at the 59th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology; May 1, 2007; Boston, Massachusetts. Background: Individual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) disease severity measures, such as atrophy or lesions, show weak relationships to clinical status in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Objective: To combine MS-MRI measures of disease severity into a composite score. Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Setting: Community-based and referral subspecialty clinic in an academic hospital. Patients: A total of 103 patients with MS, with a mean (SD) Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 3.3 (2.2), of whom 62 (60.2%) had the relapsing-remitting, 33 (32.0%) the secondary progressive, and 8 (7.8%) the primary progressive form. Main Outcome Measures: Brain MRI measures included baseline T2 hyperintense (T2LV) and T1 hypointense (T1LV) lesion volume and brain parenchymal fraction (BPF), a marker of global atrophy. The ratio of T1LV to T2LV (T1:T2) assessed lesion severity. A Magnetic Resonance Disease Severity Scale (MRDSS) score, on a continuous scale from 0 to 10, was derived for each patient using T2LV, BPF, and T1:T2. Results: The MRDSS score averaged 5.1 (SD, 2.6). Baseline MRI and EDSS correlations were moderate for BPF, T1:T2, and MRDSS and weak for T2LV. The MRDSS showed a larger effect size than the individual MRI components in distinguishing patients with the relapsingremitting form from those with the secondary progressive form. Models containing either T2LV or MRDSS were significantly associated with disability progression during the mean (SD) 3.2 (0.3)-year observation period, when adjusting for baseline EDSS score. Conclusion: Combining brain MRI lesion and atrophy measures can predict MS clinical progression and provides the basis for developing an MRI-based continuous scale as a marker of MS disease severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1449-1453
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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