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Arch Neurol. 2005 Nov;62(11):1684-8. Epub 2005 Sep 12.

Effects of interferon beta-1b on black holes in multiple sclerosis over a 6-year period with monthly evaluations.

Author information

1
Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1400, USA. bagnatof@ninds.nih.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic, hypointense black holes (BHs) are recognized as a sign of permanent damage in patients with multiple sclerosis. Although the effects of interferon beta-1b in reducing the formation of new BHs are established, it is not clear whether the drug may reduce BH duration after these lesions are formed.

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze the effects of interferon beta-1b in reducing the duration of T1 BHs in patients with multiple sclerosis.

DESIGN:

Patients were clinically assessed and imaged monthly over a 36-month natural history phase and 36-month therapy phase. Numbers of contrast-enhanced lesions and newly formed BHs were counted on each scan. Each BH was counted until it was no longer seen.

SETTING:

Outpatient service of the Neuroimmunology Branch at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

PATIENTS:

Six patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis were included. One patient did not form any BHs during the therapy phase. Analyses were performed on the remaining 5 individuals.

INTERVENTIONS:

Interferon beta-1b at the dosage of 8 million international units every other day.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Number and duration (in months) of newly formed BHs.

RESULTS:

Rate of BH accumulation decreased with treatment (P = .01), but Kaplan-Meier models revealed that the duration of BHs did not shorten (chi2(1) = 2.47, P = .12).

CONCLUSIONS:

Interferon beta-1b reduces the frequency of new BH formation but does not appear to decrease their duration in time. Analyses with larger patient cohorts are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

PMID:
16157739
DOI:
10.1001/archneur.62.11.noc40499
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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