Disability in progressive MS is associated with T2 lesion changes

Cecilie Ammitzbøll*, Tim Bjørn Dyrby, Mark Lyksborg, K. Schreiber, R. Ratzer, J. Romme Christensen, P. Iversen, M. Magyari, E. Garde, P. S. Sørensen, H. R. Siebner, Finn Sellebjerg

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by diffuse changes on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which complicates the use of MRI as a diagnostic and prognostic marker. The relationship between MRI measures (conventional and non-conventional) and clinical disability in progressive MS therefore warrants further investigation. Objective: To investigate the relationship between clinical disability and MRI measures in patients with progressive MS.
Methods: Data from 93 primary and secondary progressive MS patients who had participated in 3 phase 2 clinical trials were included in this cross-sectional study. From 3 T MRI baseline scans we calculated total T2 lesion volume and analysed magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) and the diffusion tensor imaging indices fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) in T2 lesions, normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and cortical grey matter. Disability was assessed by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and the MS functional composite. Results: T2 lesion volume was associated with impairment by all clinical measures. MD and MTR in T2 lesions were significantly related to disability, and lower FA values correlated with worse hand function in NAWM. In multivariable analyses, increasing clinical disability was independently correlated with increasing T2 lesion volumes and MTR in T2 lesion. Conclusion: In progressive MS, clinical disability is related to lesion volume and microstructure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Pages (from-to)73-77
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Magnetisation transfer ratio
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Expanded disability status scale
  • Multiple sclerosis functional composite

Cite this

Ammitzbøll, C., Dyrby, T. B., Lyksborg, M., Schreiber, K., Ratzer, R., Christensen, J. R., Iversen, P., Magyari, M., Garde, E., Sørensen, P. S., Siebner, H. R., & Sellebjerg, F. (2017). Disability in progressive MS is associated with T2 lesion changes. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 20, 73-77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2017.12.010