Author Of 4 Presentations
P0031 - Asymptomatic anterior optic pathway involvement in early multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndromes (ID 1838)
Optical coherence tomography is gaining increasing relevance in the assessment of people with multiple sclerosis. Converging evidence point to the view that neuro-retinal changes, in eyes without acute optic neuritis, reflect inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes taking place throughout the CNS.
The present study aims at exploring the usefulness of optical coherence tomography as a marker of inflammation and disease burden in the earliest phases of the disease.
a cohort of 150 consecutive patients underwent clinical, neurophysiological and brain MRI assessment as well as lumbar puncture as part of their diagnostic workup for a neurological episode suggestive of inflammatory CNS disorder. For the present study, patients also received a visual pathway assessment - including OCT, VEP, visual acuity testing –, measurement of CSF inflammatory markers – a set of 17 cytokines-chemokines and, count of extracellular vesicles of myeloid origin –, and dosage of serum neurofilaments.
19.2% of clinically isolated syndromes had abnormal visual evoked potentials in eyes without optic neuritis. Similarly, optical coherence tomography identified neuro-retinal thinning in 17.8% of patients without prior visual symptoms. The presence of asymptomatic involvement of the anterior optic pathway tested with either techniques was associated with a greater disease burden.
A thinner ganglion cell layer in eyes without prior optic neuritis or instrumental evidences of it was correlated with higher EDSS, lower low contrast visual acuity, longer disease duration, higher brain lesion load, presence of gadolinium enhancing lesions, more severe abnormalities along motor and somatosensory evoked potentials, and higher frequency of CSF-specific oligoclonal bands.
We also found that inner nuclear layer thickens in a post-acute (1.1 – 3.7 months) phase after a relapse, particularly in those who did not receive steroid treatment. Likewise, a longitudinal analysis on 65 patients, showed that this swelling is transient and returns to normal values after one year of follow-up. Notwithstanding, the clinical, MRI, serological and CSF markers of disease activity considered in the study were strictly associated with one-another but none of them was associated with inner nuclear layer volume.
The present findings suggest that instrumental evidence of asymptomatic optic nerve involvement is associated with a greater disease burden in early MS and clinically isolated syndrome. Neuro-retinal changes are present since the earliest phases of the disease and yield important information regarding the neurodegenerative and inflammatory processes occurring in the CNS.
P0506 - Towards a validated Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis definition: A study from the Italian MS Register (ID 1432)
- P. Iaffaldano
- G. Lucisano
- M. Filippi
- G. Comi
- M. Onofrj
- F. Patti
- V. Brescia Morra
- M. Zaffaroni
- C. Pozzilli
- E. Cocco
- P. Sola
- G. Salemi
- M. Inglese
- R. Bergamaschi
- S. Galgani
- M. Amato
- A. Conte
- M. Salvetti
- G. Lus
- C. Florio
- R. Totaro
- M. Vianello
- F. Granella
- E. Ferraro
- U. Aguglia
- M. Gatto
- B. Orlando
- F. Sangalli
- G. De Luca
- C. Chisari
- A. Carotenuto
- D. Baroncini
- D. Colombo
- M. Nica
- D. Paolicelli
- M. Trojano
No clear metrics for sensitive and reliable identification of the transition from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) to secondary progressive (SP)MS are available.
To compare diagnostic performances of two different data-driven Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis definitions.
patient with RRMS with a follow-up ≥5 years, with a current age ≥18 years, and with ≥3 EDSS scores recorded were selected from the Italian MS Registry. Annual incidence of SPMS conversion was reported as number of patients converting to SP every 100 patients/year. Three different SPMS definitions have been used. Data-driven definitions based on the Lorscheider’s algorithm (LA) and on the EXPAND trial inclusion criteria were validated, using the neurologist’s definition as gold standard, in terms of calibration, discrimination and goodness of fit by calculating: sensitivity, specificity, Positive Predictive Value (PPV), Negative Predictive Value (NPV), the Akaike information criterion (AIC), the Area Under the Curve (AUC). The overall calibration of the data-driven definitions was evaluated by the Calibration Slope test.
a cohort of 10,240 RRMS patients was extracted from the Italian MS Registry. According to the neurologist judgment, 880 (8.59%) patients were classified as SPMS in the dataset. By applying the LA and the EXPAND definition, 1,806 (17.64%) and 1,134 (11.07%) patients, respectively, were classified as SPMS. The annual rate of SP conversion during the follow-up was 0.74 every 100 patients/year based on the neurologist’s definition, 1.57 every 100 patients/year using the LA and 0.94 every 100 patients/year applying the EXPAND definition. Both the data-driven definitions were well calibrated, with a p-value of the Calibration Slope test higher than 0.05 (LA=0.55; EXPAND definition=0.57). The AIC (LA=4301; EXPAND definition=5510) and the R-Square (LA=0.15 vs EXPAND definition=0.05), were in favor of the LA. The LA showed a greater discrimination power (AUC: 0.83 vs 0.65) and a higher sensitivity (77.1% vs 38.0%) in comparison to the EXPAND definition. Both definitions showed similar specificity (88.0% vs 91.5%). The PPV and the NPV were both higher using the LA than those obtained by the EXPAND definition (37.5% vs 29.5%; 97.6% vs 94.0%, respectively).
An accurate definition of SP transition is needed for a timely and efficacious treatment of SPMS patients. Real-world data from the Italian MS Registry suggests that data-driven definitions had a greater ability to capture SP transition than neurologist’s definition and that the global accuracy of LA seems to be higher than a definition based on the EXPAND trial inclusion criteria.
P0666 - Telemedicine in/outside the pandemic: a survey about satisfaction of this tool in a cohort of multiple sclerosis patients and their neurologists (ID 1810)
Telemedicine is a live communication between patients and physicians through different technological tools. It became fundamental during COVID-19 pandemic to keep on taking care of patients in more medical fields than before. Given the chance for telemedicine to become a pivotal part of neurological routine practice, we investigated patients and neurologists satisfaction about this tool.
This survey aimed to understand satisfactionabout telemedicine during pandemic and its possible use in the future outside pandemic
We administered a brief survey to a cohort of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients and their neurologists at MS center of San Raffaele Hospital, Milan. Demographic and clinical data (EDSS, treatment) were collected.
151 patients filled out the survey: 75% females; mean age 42.2yy (18-73); median EDSS 1.5 (0-7). Treatments were almost equally distributed across first and second-line drugs (10% interferon, 10% glatiramer acetate, 14% teriflunomide, 22% dimethylfumarate, 23% fingolimod, 3% cladribine, 8% alemtuzumab, 10% ocrelizumab).
87% of patients appreciated telemedicine during pandemic; 10% had a positive opinion but with a need for traditional evaluations, while 3% were not satisfied.
Considering the possible routine use of telemedicine outside the pandemic, 82% firmly stated the importance of traditional evaluations. In particular, 44% would alternate in person and remote visits, while 38% strongly preferred traditional ones. Among the latters, the main reasons were the need for human empathy with the neurologist and the feeling that traditional evaluations may lead to better clinical outcomes. The remaining 18% would always use telemedicine except in the case of acute events. Neurologists and residents (n=18) were inquired about telemedicine: no one would use it as the only tool, 33% would alternate it with traditional practice and 67% would use it only in special contexts.
In our survey, both patients and neurologists recognized the importance of telemedicine during a pandemic. Patients more than physicians seemed ready to use it in everyday clinical practice. These data may be biased by a still ongoing patients fear and physicians lack of confidence in this multifaceted tool. The pandemic spurred the development of institutional telematic platforms capable of providing legal protection and traceability of visits and communication between patients and physicians. So far, we can conclude that telemedicine is a useful tool to overcome space-time limits, giving the best care to all patients in any condition. However, it cannot replace but only integrate traditional medicine.
P1075 - Early clinical and MRI predictors of long-term disability in pediatric multiple sclerosis patients (ID 1187)
The main clinical and MRI features driving therapeutic choices are not as clear for pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) patients as for adults.
We aimed at assessing early predictors of long-term clinically-relevant outcomes in a large cohort of pediatric MS patients.
Clinical and MRI assessment was obtained at disease onset and after 1, 2 and 3 years, in a cohort of 123 pediatric MS patients. The longest clinical follow-up (mean 9.33 +/- 3.45 years) was considered for long-term outcomes. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess predictors of time to first relapse, while multivariable logistic and linear regression models identified clinical and MRI predictors of long-term outcomes.
Across baseline features, optic nerve involvement predicted a shorter time to first relapse (hazard ratio=1.9, p=0.03). Predictors of annualized relapse rate (ARR) were: at baseline, presence of cerebellar (b=-0.16, p=0.00) and number of cervical cord lesions (b=0.14, p=0.01); considering short-term predictors, the same baseline variables together with time to first relapse (2-year: b=-0.12, p=0.01; 3-year: b=-0.08, p=0.00) and the number of relapses (1-year: b=0.14, p=0.00; 2-year: b=0.06, p=0.02). Baseline predictors of 10-year disability worsening were: at baseline, presence of optic nerve [odds ratio(OR)=6.45, p=0.01] and brainstem lesions (OR=6.17, p=0.04); considering short-term predictors, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) changes at 1 (OR=26.05, p=0.00) and 2 (OR= 16.38, p=0.02) years and the detection of at least two new T2-lesions in 2 years (2-year: OR=4.91, p=0.02; 3-year: OR=5.49, p=0.09). Predictors of higher 10-year EDSS score were: at baseline, EDSS score (b=0.58, p<0.001), presence of brainstem (b=0.31, p=0.04) and number of cervical cord lesions (b=0.22, p=0.05); considering short-term predictors, EDSS changes (1-year: b=0.82, p<0.001; 2-year: b=0.79, p<0.001, 3-year: b=0.27, p=0.04 ), together with the detection of at least two new T2-lesions at 1 (b=0.28, p=0.03) and 2 (b=0.35, p=0.01) years.
In conclusion, baseline spinal cord, brainstem and optic nerve lesions have a major role in predicting long-term outcomes, both in term of disease activity and of disability worsening. In addition, an accurate clinical and MRI monitoring during the first 2 years of disease has proven to represent a powerful tool for counseling patients about long-term prognosis and personalizing treatment strategies.