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Neurology. 2006 May 9;66(9):1384-9.

MRI T2 lesion burden in multiple sclerosis: a plateauing relationship with clinical disability.

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University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



Previous studies have shown only modest correlation between multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions on MRI and clinical disability.


To investigate the relationship between proton density/T2-weighted (T2) burden of disease (BOD) quantitatively measured on MRI scans and clinical determinants including disability.


Using the Sylvia Lawry Centre for Multiple Sclerosis Research (SLCMSR) database, the authors studied baseline T2 BOD data from a pooled subsample of 1,312 placebo MS patients from 11 randomized controlled trials. Univariate comparisons guided development of multiple regression models incorporating the most important clinical predictors.


Significant, although weak to moderate, correlations were found between T2 BOD and age at disease onset, disease duration, disease course, disability (as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS]), relapse rate, certain presenting symptoms, and gadolinium enhancement. An unexpected but key finding that persisted in the multiple regression analyses was a plateauing relationship between T2 BOD and disability for EDSS values above 4.5.


This study confirmed the limited correlation between clinical manifestations and T2 burden of disease (BOD) but revealed an important plateauing relationship between T2 BOD and disability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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