Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
NeuroCure Clinical Research Center

Author Of 1 Presentation

Biomarkers and Bioinformatics Poster Presentation

P0153 - Serum neurofilament light chain and retinal layer thickness measurements are complementary predictors of disease activity in early multiple sclerosis. (ID 1808)

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Biomarkers and Bioinformatics



Serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) and retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) measurements have individually been shown to be promising biomarkers for future disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS).


To investigate the complementary value of sNfL and retinal OCT measurements for predicting disease activity in patients with early MS at a stable disease state.


We retrospectively screened patients with early MS or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) from a prospective cohort study (Berlin CIS cohort). The baseline sNfL (single-molecule array (SimoaTM) assay) were determined between 12 and 24 months after initial disease onset. Inclusion criteria were the availability of baseline sNfL, OCT measurements, clinical and MRI follow-up data (new relapses, expanded disability status scale (EDSS), new T2 lesions, composing the no evidence of disease activity (NEDA-3) criteria) over a period of at least 365 days. Exclusion criteria were concomitant eye diseases interfering with OCT and a relapse within 120 days before baseline visit. For Cox regression hazard models, patients were grouped with regards to their sNfL level (abnormal/normal: ≥/< 95th percentile of age-matched reference value) and their peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL: >/≤ 100 µm) and ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIP: >/≤ 1.99 mm3) in non-optic neuritis eyes. Analysis was censored after 760 days.


We included 78 patients (50 females, age: 36.4 ± 7.6 years) with a median follow-up of 728 days (range: 709 – 751 days). Patients with abnormal sNfL at baseline showed a significantly higher risk for developing a new relapse (Hazard Ratio (HR): 3.33, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.43 – 7.71, p = 0.003), a new lesion (HR: 2.64, CI: 1.35 – 5.18, p = 0.003) and violating NEDA-3 (HR: 3.22, CI: 1.73 – 6.01. p < 0.001). Patients with both thinner pRNFL and abnormal sNfL value had a greater risk for developing a new relapse (HR: 8.12, CI: 2.17 – 30.46, p = 0.002) and violating NEDA-3 criteria (HR: 4.28, CI: 1.81 – 10.14, p < 0.001) than patients with only one of the risk factors. Meanwhile, patients with thinner GCIP and abnormal sNfL not only yielded greater risk for new relapse (HR: 6.51, CI 2.06 – 20.63, p = 0.001) and NEDA-3 violation (HR: 4.48, CI: 2.11 – 9.50, p < 0.001), but also for new lesion (HR: 3.11, CI: 1.42 – 6.80, p = 0.004).


In patients with early MS, presence of both abnormal sNfL and OCT measurements may be a stronger risk factor for future disease activity than presence of each risk factor alone.