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Bakshi R, Neema M, Healy BC, et al. Predicting Clinical Progression in Multiple Sclerosis With the Magnetic Resonance Disease Severity Scale. Arch Neurol. 2008;65(11):1449–1453. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archneur.65.11.1449
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).
To combine MS-MRI measures of disease severity into a composite score.
Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.
Community-based and referral subspecialty clinic in an academic hospital.
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.
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 relapsing-remitting 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.
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.
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