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Neurology. 1999 Aug 11;53(3):622-4.

MRI in multiple sclerosis during the menstrual cycle: relationship with sex hormone patterns.

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Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.


We investigated MRI activity in MS during the menstrual cycle in relation to physiologic sex hormone fluctuations. Eight women with relapsing-remitting MS were submitted to serial brain gadolinium-enhanced MRI examinations over a 3-month period in two alternate follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. The ratio of progesterone/17-beta-estradiol during the luteal phase was significantly associated with both number (r = 0.6, p = 0.03) and volume (r = 0.7, p = 0.009) of enhancing lesions, providing support for a role of these hormones as immunomodulatory factors in MS.

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