Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2022 Nov 21;69:104423. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2022.104423. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Spinal cord and gadolinium (Gd)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide additional information to brain MRI to determine prognosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the real-world impact of routine use of brain MRI with spinal cord and/or Gd sequences is unknown. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of brain, spinal cord and Gd MRI on treatment decisions in MS.
METHODS: In this 2015-2020 population-based study, we performed a retrospective analysis on MS patients resident in the Campania Region (South Italy), with disease modifying treatment (DMT) prescription (n = 6,161). DMTs were classified as platform (dimethyl fumarate, glatiramer acetate, interferon-beta, peg-interferon-beta, teriflunomide), or high-efficacy (alemtuzumab, cladribine, fingolimod, natalizumab, ocrelizumab). We evaluated the association between binary MRI variables and switch from platform to high-efficacy DMT using multivariable logistic regression.
RESULTS: The likelihood of switch from platform to high-efficacy DMT was 47% higher when including post-Gd acquisitions to brain and/or spinal cord MRI, 59% higher when including spinal cord acquisitions to brain MRI, and 132% higher when including any MRI compared with no MRI (all p < 0.05). The likelihood of switch to high-efficacy DMT decreased over time from treatment start.
CONCLUSION: Our results show that spinal cord and Gd MRI acquisitions can provide relevant information to influence subsequent treatment decisions, especially in early treatment phases, compared with stand-alone brain MRI.