There is a lack of evidence guiding treatment decisions regarding discontinuation of disease-modifying therapy (DMT) in multiple sclerosis (MS)
To generate and validate a composite (clinical and MRI-based) score able to identify individual patients with relapsing MS (RMS) with a high risk of experiencing disease reactivation after discontinuation of DMT.
The study was conducted using a generation and a validation dataset drawn from two separate prospectively collected observational databases. We included RMS patients who received interferon-beta or glatirameracetate for ≥12 months, then discontinued DMT for ≥6 months and had ≥2 years of follow-up available. In the generation sample (n=168), regression analysis was performed to identify clinical or MRI variables independently predicting disease reactivation after DMT discontinuation. A predictive score was calculated using the variables included in the multivariable model. This score was then applied to the validation sample (n=98).
The variables included in the final model as independent predictors of disease reactivation were age at discontinuation (p<0.001), MRI activity at discontinuation (p<0.001), and duration of clinical stability (p<0.001). The resulting score (Vienna Innsbruck DMT discontinuation score based on age, activity on MRI and duration in stable course; VIAADISC) was able to identify patients at high (83-84%), moderate (35-38%) and low risk (7%) of disease reactivation within 5 years after DMT discontinuation both in the generation and in the validation cohorts.
The composite VIAADISC score may be a valuable tool informing patients and neurologists in the face of deciding if and when to discontinue injectable DMTs.