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Neurology. 2019 Jan 22;92(4):180-192. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000006810. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

Unraveling treatment response in multiple sclerosis: A clinical and MRI challenge.

Author information

1
From the Department of Neurosciences (C.G., L.P.), San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy; Centre d'Esclerosi Multiple de Catalunya (Cemcat), Department of Neurology/Neuroimmunology (M.T., J.R., J.S.-G., X.M.), and Magnetic Resonance Unit, Department of Radiology (A.R.), Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain; Biostatistics Unit (M.P.S.), Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa; Neuroimaging Research Unit (M.F., M.A.R.), Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy; Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (J.P.), West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford; Institutes of Neurology & Healthcare Engineering (O.C., F.B.), University College London (O.C.), UK; Amsterdam Neuroscience and Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (F.B., H.V.), VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology (J.L.F.), Rigshospitalet Glostrup and University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Neuroradiological Academic Unit (T.A.Y.), Institute of Neurology, London, UK; Department of Neurology (C.E.), Medical University of Graz, Austria; Neurologic Clinic and Policlinic, Department of Medicine (L.K.), Clinical Research, Biomedicine and Biomedical Engineering, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Switzerland; Department of Neurology and Psychiatry (C.P.), Sapienza University, Rome; and Neurology and Neurometabolic Unit, Department of Neurological and Behavioral Sciences (N.D.S.), University of Siena, Italy. c.gasperini@libero.it.
2
From the Department of Neurosciences (C.G., L.P.), San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy; Centre d'Esclerosi Multiple de Catalunya (Cemcat), Department of Neurology/Neuroimmunology (M.T., J.R., J.S.-G., X.M.), and Magnetic Resonance Unit, Department of Radiology (A.R.), Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain; Biostatistics Unit (M.P.S.), Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa; Neuroimaging Research Unit (M.F., M.A.R.), Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy; Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (J.P.), West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford; Institutes of Neurology & Healthcare Engineering (O.C., F.B.), University College London (O.C.), UK; Amsterdam Neuroscience and Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (F.B., H.V.), VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology (J.L.F.), Rigshospitalet Glostrup and University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Neuroradiological Academic Unit (T.A.Y.), Institute of Neurology, London, UK; Department of Neurology (C.E.), Medical University of Graz, Austria; Neurologic Clinic and Policlinic, Department of Medicine (L.K.), Clinical Research, Biomedicine and Biomedical Engineering, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Switzerland; Department of Neurology and Psychiatry (C.P.), Sapienza University, Rome; and Neurology and Neurometabolic Unit, Department of Neurological and Behavioral Sciences (N.D.S.), University of Siena, Italy.

Abstract

Over the last few decades, the improved diagnostic criteria, the wide use of MRI, and the growing availability of effective pharmacologic treatments have led to substantial advances in the management of multiple sclerosis (MS). The importance of early diagnosis and treatment is now well-established, but there is still no consensus on how to define and monitor response to MS treatments. In particular, the clinical relevance of the detection of minimal MRI activity is controversial and recommendations on how to define and monitor treatment response are warranted. An expert panel of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging in MS Study Group analyzed and discussed published studies on treatment response in MS. The evolving concept of no evidence of disease activity and its effect on predicting long-term prognosis was examined, including the option of defining a more realistic target for daily clinical practice: minimal evidence of disease activity. Advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of MRI activity alone and quantitative scoring systems combining on-treatment clinical relapses and MRI active lesions to detect treatment response in the real-world setting were also discussed. While most published studies on this topic involved patients treated with interferon-β, special attention was given to more recent studies providing evidence based on treatment with other and more efficacious oral and injectable drugs. Finally, the panel identified future directions to pursue in this research field.

PMID:
30587516
PMCID:
PMC6345120
[Available on 2019-07-22]
DOI:
10.1212/WNL.0000000000006810

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