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Mult Scler. 2014 Sep;20(10):1348-54. doi: 10.1177/1352458514525867. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Combined visual and motor evoked potentials predict multiple sclerosis disability after 20 years.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.
  • 2Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland University of Basel, Switzerland.
  • 3Department of Radiology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.
  • 4Department of Radiology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland Medical Image Analysis Centre, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.
  • 5Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland University of Basel, Switzerland.
  • 6Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland University of Basel, Switzerland



The development of predictors of multiple sclerosis (MS) disability is difficult due to the complex interplay of pathophysiological and adaptive processes.


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether combined evoked potential (EP)-measures allow prediction of MS disability after 20 years.


We examined 28 patients with clinically definite MS according to Poser's criteria with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, combined visual and motor EPs at entry (T0), 6 (T1), 12 (T2) and 24 (T3) months, and a cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan at T0 and T2. EDSS testing was repeated at year 14 (T4) and year 20 (T5). Spearman rank correlation was used. We performed a multivariable regression analysis to examine predictive relationships of the sum of z-transformed EP latencies (s-EPT0) and other baseline variables with EDSST5.


We found that s-EPT0 correlated with EDSST5 (rho=0.72, p<0.0001) and ΔEDSST5-T0 (rho=0.50, p=0.006). Backward selection resulted in the prediction model: E (EDSST5)=3.91-2.22×therapy+0.079×age+0.057×s-EPT0 (Model 1, R (2)=0.58) with therapy as binary variable (1=any disease-modifying therapy between T3 and T5, 0=no therapy). Neither EDSST0 nor T2-lesion or gadolinium (Gd)-enhancing lesion quantities at T0 improved prediction of EDSST5. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.89 for model 1.


These results further support a role for combined EP-measures as predictors of long-term disability in MS.

© The Author(s) 2014.


Evoked potentials; magnetic resonance imaging; multiple sclerosis; prognosis

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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