Retinal damage reflects MS progression, not relapses

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frodo
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Retinal damage reflects MS progression, not relapses

Post by frodo » Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:07 am

Retinal layer thinning is reflecting disability progression independent of relapse activity in multiple sclerosis

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/1 ... 7320966344

Background
PIRA (progression independent of relapse) has emerged as a term to quantify the proportion of disability worsening due to non-inflammatory neurodegenerative processes in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Objective
To determine the impact of PIRA on retinal thinning, a biomarker of neuroaxonal degeneration in MS, in comparison to traditional disability worsening and relapse.

Methods
In a 4-year, prospective observational study including 171 relapsing MS (RMS) patients, retinal thinning was determined by annual spectral-domain optical coherence tomography measuring macular ganglion-cell-and-inner-plexiform-layer (GCIPL) and peripapillary-retinal-nerve-fibre-layer (pRNFL). PIRA was defined as an expanded disability status scale (EDSS) or symbol digit modalities test (SDMT) worsening confirmed after 24 weeks with no relapse in the 30 days before or after the disability worsening.

Results
Each PIRA event was associated with a mean additional loss of GCIPL (1.8 µm) and pRNFL (1.9 µm), similar to the impact of EDSS and SDMT worsening. Overall relapse and relapse without subsequent EDSS worsening did not influence retinal thinning, while a relapse with EDSS worsening was associated with an additional loss of GCIPL (1.3 µm) and pRNFL (1.4 µm).

Conclusions
PIRA is associated with retinal thinning, likely reflecting neurodegenerative processes, not directly associated with focal inflammation. It might be a clinical measure to identify MS patients with ongoing MS-associated neurodegeneration.

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