Infratentorial and spinal cord lesions: Cumulative predictors of long-term disability?

Iris Dekker, Madeleine H. Sombekke, Lisanne J. Balk, Bastiaan Moraal, Jeroen J. G. Geurts, Frederik Barkhof, Bernard M. J. Uitdehaag, Joep Killestein, Mike P. Wattjes

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether early infratentorial and/or spinal cord lesions are long-term cumulative predictors of disability progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: We selected 153 MS patients from the longitudinal Amsterdam MS cohort. Lesion analysis was performed at baseline and year 2. Disability progression after 6 and 11 years was measured using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and EDSS-plus (including 25-foot walk and 9-hole peg test). Patients with spinal cord or infratentorial lesions were compared for the risk of 6- and 11-year disability progression to patients without spinal cord or infratentorial lesions, respectively. Subsequently, patients with lesions on both locations were compared to patients with only spinal cord or only infratentorial lesions. Results: Baseline spinal cord lesions show a higher risk of 6-year EDSS progression (odds ratio (OR): 3.6, p = 0.007) and EDSS-plus progression (OR: 2.5, p = 0.028) and 11-year EDSS progression (OR: 2.8, p = 0.047). Patients with both infratentorial and spinal cord lesions did not have a higher risk of 6-year disability progression than patients with only infratentorial or only spinal cord lesions. Conclusion: The presence of early spinal cord lesions seems to be a dominant risk factor of disability progression. Simultaneous presence of early infratentorial and spinal cord lesions did not undisputedly predict disability progression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1391
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Early online date2 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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