Université Catholique de Louvain
Department of Neurology

Author Of 1 Presentation

Gender Differences, Hormones and Sex Chromosomes Oral Presentation

PS12.04 - Pregnancy in a modern day multiple sclerosis cohort: Predictors of relapse during pregnancy

Abstract

Background

Historically, disease activity diminished during pregnancy in women with relapsing-remitting MS. Today, women with high disease activity are more likely to attempt pregnancy due to the disease control that new therapies offer. But disease activity during pregnancy in the modern day remains understudied.

Objectives

Describe disease activity in a modern pregnancy cohort, grouped by preconception disease-modifying therapy (DMT) class; determine the predictors of relapse during pregnancy.

Methods

Data were obtained from the MSBase Registry. Term/preterm pregnancies conceived from 2011-2019 were included. DMT were classed by low, moderate and high-efficacy. Annualized relapse rates (ARR) were calculated for each pregnancy trimester and 12 months either side. Predictors of relapse during pregnancy were determined using clustered logistic regression.

Results

We included 1640 pregnancies from 1452 women. DMT used in the year before conception were none (n=346), low (n=845), moderate (n=207) and high-efficacy (n=242). Most common DMT in each class was interferon-beta (n=597), fingolimod (n=147) and natalizumab (n=219) for low, moderate and high-efficacy respectively. Conception EDSS ≥2 was more common in higher efficacy DMT groups (high: 41.3%; moderate 28.5%; low 22.4%; none 20.2%). For low-efficacy and no DMT groups, ARR fell through pregnancy. ARR of the moderate-efficacy group increased in the 1st pregnancy trimester (0.55 [95% CI 0.36-0.80] vs 0.14 [95% CI 0.10-0.21] on low-efficacy), then decreased to a trough in the third. Conversely, ARR steadily increased throughout pregnancy for those on high-efficacy DMT (3rd trimester: 0.42 [95% CI 0.25-0.66] vs 0.12 [95% CI 0.07-0.19] on low-efficacy). Higher efficacy DMT groups were associated with higher ARR in the early postpartum period (high: 0.84 [95% CI 0.62-1.1]; moderate: 0.90 [95% CI 0.65-1.2]; low: 0.47 [95% CI 0.38-0.58]). Preconception use of high and moderate-efficacy DMT and higher preconception ARR were predictors of relapse in pregnancy. But, continuation of high-efficacy DMT into pregnancy was protective against relapse (odds ratio 0.80 [95% CI 0.68-0.94]). Age ≥35 years was associated with reduced odds of relapse.

Conclusions

Women with RRMS treated with moderate or high-efficacy DMT are at greater risk of relapse during pregnancy. Careful pregnancy management, and use of long-acting high-efficacy DMT preconception, or continuing natalizumab into pregnancy, may prevent relapse in pregnancy.

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Author Of 7 Presentations

Biostatistical Methods Poster Presentation

P0018 - Variability of the response to immunotherapy among sub-groups of patients with multiple sclerosis (ID 1239)

Abstract

Background

Our current understanding of demographic and clinical modifiers of the effectiveness of multiple sclerosis (MS) therapies is limited.

Objectives

To assess whether patients’ response to disease modifying therapies (DMT) in MS varies by disease activity (annualised relapse rate, presence of new MRI lesions), disability, age, MS duration or disease phenotype.

Methods

Using the international MSBase registry, we selected patients with MS followed for ≥1 year, with ≥3 visits, ≥1 visit per year. Marginal structural models (MSMs) were used to compare the hazard ratios (HR) of 6-month confirmed worsening and improvement of disability (EDSS), and the incidence of relapses between treated and untreated periods. MSMs were continuously re-adjusted for patient age, sex, pregnancy, date, time from first symptom, prior relapse history, disability and MRI activity.

Results

Among 23 687 patients with relapsing MS, those on DMT experienced 20% greater chance of disability improvement [HR 1.20 (95% CI 1.0-1.5)], 47% lower risk of disability worsening [HR 0.53 (0.39-0.71)] and 51% reduction in relapses [HR 0.49 (0.43-0.55)]. The effect of DMT on relapses and EDSS worsening was attenuated with longer MS duration and higher prior relapse rate. The effect of DMT on EDSS improvement and relapses was more evident in low EDSS categories. DMT was associated with 51% EDSS improvement in patients without new MRI lesions [HR 1.51 (1.00-2.28)] compared to 4% in those with MRI activity [HR 1.04 (0.88-1.24)]. Among 26329 participants with relapsing or progressive MS, DMT was associated with 25% reduction in EDSS worsening and 42% reduction in relapses in patients with relapsing MS [HR 0.75 (0.65-0.86) and HR 0.58 (CI 0.54-62), respectively], while evidence for such beneficial effects of treatment in patients with progressive MS was not found [HR 1.11 (0.91-1.46) and HR 1.16 (0.91-1.46), respectively].

Conclusions

DMTs are associated with reduction in relapse frequency, progression of disability, and increased chance of recovery from disability. In general, the effectiveness of DMTs was most pronounced in subgroups with shorter MS duration, lower EDSS, lower relapse rate and relapsing MS phenotype.

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Diagnostic Criteria and Differential Diagnosis Poster Presentation

P0261 - Paramagnetic rim lesions are specific to multiple sclerosis: an international multicenter 3T MRI study (ID 1025)

Abstract

Background

In multiple sclerosis (MS), a subset of chronic active white matter lesions are identifiable on MRI by their paramagnetic rims, and increasing evidence supports their association with clinical disease severity.

Objectives

To assess the prevalence and MS-specificity of paramagnetic rim lesions (PRL) on 3-tesla susceptibility-based MR brain images in MS vs non-MS cases in a multicenter sample drawn from 5 academic research hospitals at sites in Europe (Brussels, Lausanne, Milan) and the United States (NIH and JHU).

Methods

On submillimetric 3D T2*-segmented EPI brain MRI, the presence of PRL and central vein sign (CVS) were evaluated in the supratentorial brain of adults with MS (n=329) and non-MS neurological conditions (n=83). Non-MS cases were grouped as follows: (1) other-inflammatory neurological diseases (n=41); (2) HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP; n=10); (3) HIV-infected (n=10); (4) non-inflammatory neurological diseases (n=22).

ROC curve analysis, with diagnosis as dependent variable (MS vs non-MS), was applied to examine the diagnostic accuracy for each biomarker (PRL and CVS). Youden’s index method was used to obtain the optimal cutoff value for each biomarker.

Results

PRL were detected in 172/329 (52%) of MS cases vs. 6/83 non-MS cases (7%).

In MS, 58% of progressive cases had at least one PRL, compared to 50% of relapsing cases. MS cases with more than 4 PRL were more likely to have higher disability scores (EDSS, MSSS and ARMSS), but not significantly longer disease duration or older age.

In non-MS cases, PRL were seen exclusively in only a few inflammatory/infectious neurological conditions, including Susac syndrome (3 cases), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (1 case), Sjögren disease (1 case) and HAM/TSP (1 case). Unlike in MS, PRL in non-MS cases were not associated with a high frequency of CVS+ lesions.

The identification of at least one PRL (optimal cutoff) was associated with high diagnostic specificity (93%), but relatively low sensitivity (52%) and accuracy (area under ROC curve=0.77), whereas CVS detection alone (optimal cutoff 35.5-38%) could better discriminate MS from non-MS cases with high specificity (96%), sensitivity (99%), and accuracy (area under ROC curve=0.99). The combination of the two biomarkers further improved the specificity (99%), but sensitivity remained low (59%).

Conclusions

PRL yielded high specificity for MS lesions. Future prospective multicenter studies should further validate its role as a diagnostic biomarker.

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Diagnostic Criteria and Differential Diagnosis Poster Presentation

P0264 - Simultaneous bilateral optic neuropathy and myelitis revealing paraneoplastic neurological syndrome associated with multiple onconeuronal antibodies (ID 772)

Speakers
Presentation Number
P0264
Presentation Topic
Diagnostic Criteria and Differential Diagnosis

Abstract

Background

Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS) are immune-mediated complications of cancer associated with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations. Optic neuropathy (ON) and myelitis are frequent manifestations of multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optic spectrum disorders (NMOSD) but are considered as non-classical in PNS. Here, we report a case of PNS revealed by simultaneous bilateral ON and myelitis related to multiple co-existing paraneoplastic antibodies (Abs), in the setting of small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Objectives

To describe a patient with concomitant bilateral ON and myelitis as revealing neurological manifestations of paraneoplastic autoimmunity.

Methods

A 70-year-old man with a 50-pack-year smoking history was admitted because of subacute bilateral and painless vision loss and left lower limb weakness. Visual acuity was 7/10 in the right eye and 3/10 in the left eye. Fundoscopy showed bilateral disc swelling and peripapillary hemorrhages. Brain MRI did not reveal any optic nerve lesion nor lesions suggestive of MS. Spinal cord MRI showed a T2-weighted hyperintensity at the C2 level, with gadolinium enhancement. The visual evoked potentials showed significant bilateral increase of P100 latencies. CSF analysis showed lymphocytic pleocytosis (149 cells/μl), elevated protein concentration (99 mg/dl), and positive CSF-restricted IgG oligoclonal bands. No malignant cells were found in the CSF. Immunologic and infectious workup was unremarkable. Testing for anti-AQP4 and -MOG Abs was negative. Lung cancer was highly suspected on whole body FDG-PET. Transbronchial needle aspiration of hilar lymph nodes revealed SCLC.

Results

The paraneoplastic antibody panel showed a significant signal for anti-Hu Abs in the serum (EUROLINE Neuronal Antigen Profile blots, EUROIMMUN), confirming the diagnosis of PNS. Anti-CV2/CRMP5 and -amphiphysin Abs were also detected, albeit at lower levels. Treatment with intravenous methylprednisolone and plasma exchange resulted in poor clinical improvement. A second malignancy (prostate cancer) was highly suspected but the patient elected to withdraw from further evaluation or treatment and received palliative care at home.

Conclusions

Simultaneous involvement of optic nerves and spinal cord is a rare manifestation of PNS. This presentation should prompt screening for a panel of onconeuronal Abs and for an underlying malignancy, particularly in older adult smokers who are unlikely to have MS or NMOSD.

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Imaging Poster Presentation

P0636 - Relationship of real-world brain atrophy to MS disability using icobrain: 4 centre pilot study (ID 716)

Abstract

Background

To date, no studies have explored the relationship between brain atrophy and MS disability using differing MRI protocols and scanners at multiple sites.

Objectives

To assess the association between brain atrophy and MS disability, as measured by EDSS and 6-month confirmed disability progression (CDP).

Methods

In this retrospective study at 4 MS centres, a total of 1300 patients had brain MRI imaging assessed by icobrain. Relapse-onset MS patients were included if they had two clinical MRIs 12 (±3) months apart and ≥2 EDSS scores post MRI-2, the first ≤3 months from MRI-2, with ≥6 months between first and last EDSS. Volumetric data were analysed if the alignment similarity between two images was as good as that of same-scanner scan-rescan images (normalised mutual information ≥0.2). The percentage brain volume change (PBVC), percentage grey matter change (PGMC), FLAIR lesion volume change, whole brain volume, grey matter volume, FLAIR lesion volume and T1 hypointense lesion volume at MRI-2 were calculated. Ordinal mixed effect models were used to determine the association between these volumetric MRI measures and all EDSS scores post MRI-2. Cox proportional hazards models were used for the 6-month CDP outcome, using a subset of patients with ≥3 EDSS. Models were adjusted for proportion of time spent on disease-modifying therapy during MRIs ± whole brain/grey matter volume at baseline MRI.

Results

Of the 260 relapse-onset MS patients included, 204 (78%) MRI pairs were performed in the same scanner and 56 (22%) pairs were from different scanners. During the follow-up period (median 3.8 years, range 1.3-8.9), 29 of 244 (12%) patients experienced 6-month CDP. There was no evidence for association between annualised PBVC or PGMC and CDP or EDSS (p>0.05). Cross-sectional whole brain and grey matter volume (at MRI-2) tended to associate with CDP (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.98-1.00, p=0.06). Every 1ml of whole brain or grey matter volume lost represented a 1% higher chance of reaching 6-month CDP. Only whole brain volume (at MRI-2) was associated with EDSS score (β -0.03, SE 0.01, p<0.001) and the slope of EDSS change over time (β -0.001, SE 0.0003, p=0.02). On average, every 33ml reduction of brain volume was associated with a 1 step increase in EDSS.

Conclusions

In this real-world clinical setting where a fifth of the brain atrophy analysis were performed on different scanners, we found no association between individual brain atrophy and MS disability. However, there was an association between cross-sectional whole brain volume with EDSS and slope of EDSS change.

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Observational Studies Poster Presentation

P0907 - Real-world experience with Cladribine Tablets in the MSBase Registry (ID 1587)

Abstract

Background

Cladribine tablets are approved for treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) in many jurisdictions. Real-world outcomes data is very limited.

Objectives

We analysed the cladribine treatment experience in the MSBase registry. We described baseline characteristics, treatment pathways, and relapse and discontinuation outcomes in patients with ≥6 months follow-up data from cladribine initiation.

Methods

We performed a secondary data analysis using MSBase Registry data of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of MS and newly treated with cladribine tablets after regulatory approval. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze baseline patient characteristics recorded within 3 months prior to cladribine tablets initiation, including demographics, disease course and duration, prior disease modifying drugs (DMD), and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).

Results

As of the 4th June 2020, MSBase included 660 patients treated with cladribine from 9 countries, mainly from Australia and Europe. A total of 576 met all inclusion criteria. These included 496 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients. In these, median age at cladribine tablets start was 45 years and median disease duration since clinically isolated syndrome was 12.6 years. Median EDSS at cladribine tablets start was 2.5. Around 13% of all RRMS patients initiated cladribine tablets as first line therapy. Of all RRMS patients switching to cladribine tablets with a treatment gap of <6 months, the most common immediate prior DMDs were fingolimod (17%), followed by natalizumab, teriflunomide and dimethylfumarate (all appx. 10%). Total follow-up time was 340 patient-years. Annualised relapse rate (ARR) on cladribine tablets was 0.12 (95%CI 0.09-0.17), compared to a pre-cladribine ARR of 0.38. Treatment persistence was 95% after 12 months (95%CI 91-98%), and 92% after 24 months (95%CI 87-96%).

Conclusions

This study characterizes RRMS patients treated with cladribine tablets in a real-world clinic setting. First-line use was uncommon. ARR was low, consistent with clinical trial data, and early discontinuations were very rare.

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Observational Studies Poster Presentation

P0909 - Real-world experience with Ocrelizumab in the MSBase Registry (ID 1559)

Abstract

Background

Ocrelizumab (OCR) is a humanised anti-CD20+ monoclonal antibody approved for the treatment of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), and relapsing forms of MS, including both relapsing-remitting (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS) with relapses.

Objectives

In a real-world setting, to describe 1) baseline characteristics of patients with MS treated with OCR, 2) treatment pathway across lines of therapy up to initiation of OCR, and 3) initial clinical experience in patients with ≥6 months follow-up data from OCR initiation.

Methods

Secondary data analysis using MSBase Registry data including patients with a confirmed diagnosis of MS and started OCR therapy within 3 months prior to or at time of MSBase eligible/initial visit. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze baseline patient characteristics' recorded within 3 months of OCR initiation, including demographics, disease course and duration, prior disease modifying therapies (DMT), and EDSS. Occurrence of relapse was analyzed in patients with ≥6 months follow-up data from OCR initiation.

Results

As of 4th June 2020, MSBase included 2531 patients newly treated with OCR, of whom 1679 had an EDSS evaluation within 3 months of OCR start. There were 1185 patients with RRMS, 236 with SPMS, and 183 with PPMS. Median age at OCR initiation was 41.9 years, 49.5 years, to 50.1 years in RRMS, SPMS, and PPMS, respectively. Mean disease duration from symptom onset up to OCR initiation was longer in SPMS (19.7 years) than in RRMS (10.6 years) and PPMS (9.7 years). OCR was initiated as first line therapy in 17.5%, 5.5%, and 54.2% of RRMS, SPMS, and PPMS patients respectively. Most frequent previous DMT’s in RRMS were fingolimod (25.7%) and natalizumab (23.5%). 693 patients with RRMS had ≥6 months follow-up during OCR exposure. Of these, 643 remained relapse free (93%; 95% CI 86.0, 100.0) over a mean OCR exposure of 1.23 years. The annualized relapse rate (ARR) was 0.08 (95% CI 0.06-0.10), compared to an ARR of 0.85 in the 24 months pre-OCR start. In the overall cohort, treatment persistence at 12 and 24 months was 98.4% (95% CI: 97.3-9.1%) and 92.5% (95%CI 89-95%), respectively.

Conclusions

This study characterizes an international population of patients with RRMS, PPMS, and SPMS newly treated with OCR in a real-world clinical setting. First-line use was uncommon in RRMS and SPMS. During OCR treatment, ARR was below 0.1, and OCR discontinuations were very rare.

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Reproductive Aspects and Pregnancy Poster Presentation

P1131 - Pregnancy in a modern day multiple sclerosis cohort: Predictors of postpartum relapse and disability progression (ID 1321)

Abstract

Background

Disease activity has been investigated in pregnant women with RRMS treated with low-efficacy or no therapy. How newer, more efficacious therapies affect relapse and disability progression risk after pregnancy remains understudied.

Objectives

To describe disease activity in a modern pregnancy cohort contrasted with historical cohorts. To determine the predictors of postpartum relapse and the predictors of six-month confirmed disability progression events in a contemporary pregnancy cohort.

Methods

Data were obtained from the MSBase Registry. Term/preterm pregnancies conceived from 2011-2019 (modern cohort) were compared with those conceived between 2005-2010 and pre-2005. Annualised relapse rates (ARR) were calculated for each pregnancy trimester and 12 months either side. Predictors of time-to-relapse postpartum (1st 3 months) and time to 6-month confirmed disability progression event were determined with clustered Cox regression analyses. Breastfeeding duration and time to DMT reinitiation were modelled as time-varying covariates.

Results

We included 1640 pregnancies from 1452 women (modern cohort). Disease-modifying therapy (DMT) used in the year before conception included interferon-beta (n=597), natalizumab (n=219) and fingolimod (n=147). Continuation of DMT up to conception increased over time (31% pre-2005 vs 54% modern cohort). Preconception ARR decreased across epochs (pre-2005: 0·58 [95% CI 0·49-0·70]; 2005-2010: 0·40 [95% CI 0·36-0·45]; modern: 0·29 [95% CI 0·27-0·32]). In all epochs, ARR decreased during pregnancy to reach similar troughs in the 3rd trimester, and rebounded in the 1st 3-months postpartum. Preconception use of high-efficacy DMT predicted early postpartum relapse (hazard ratio (HR) 2.1 [1.4-3.1]); although those on no DMT were also at risk of postpartum relapse, relative to women on low-efficacy DMT (HR 2.7 [1.2-5.9]). Conception EDSS 2, higher preconception and in-pregnancy ARR were also risk factors. DMT reinitiation, particularly of high-efficacy DMT (HR 0.17 [0.07-0.38]), was protective against postpartum relapse. Women who breastfed were less likely to relapse (HR 0.63 [0.42-0.94]). 4.5% of modern pregnancies had confirmed disability progression after delivery. This was predicted by higher pregnancy and postpartum ARR, with postpartum ARR remaining independently predictive in multivariable analysis (HR 1.5 [1.2-2.0]).

Conclusions

The early postpartum period remains a period of vulnerability for disease rebound in women with MS in the modern era. Early DMT reinitiation, particularly with high-efficacy treatment, is protective against postpartum relapse. Confirmed disability progression events after pregnnacy are uncommon in the modern era. Relapse activity is the key driver of these events.

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