Relationship between MRI lesion activity and response to IFN-beta in RRMS

Rio et al. Mult Scler. 2008 May;14(4):479-84.

Aims: This study evaluated whether brain MRI performed at the start of IFN-beta and after 12 months of treatment could allow one to identify PwRRMS who would develop an increase in disability within the first 2 years of treatment. Results:  Subjects with active lesions on MRI at 12 months. i.e. non-responders on MRI,  were 8.3x more likely to have an increase in disability after 2 years of IFN-beta  therapy compared to patients without MRI activity (95% confidence interval* 3.1-21.9; p < 0.0001). 

“There are a host of other studies like this showing the approximately the same result. In other words if you are on IFN-beta treatment and have evidence of ongoing disease activity on MRI or clinically you are more likely to progress in the future. Good or bad news? I would say good news as we now have a one way, albeit rather a crude way, to assess response or non-response to IFN-beta treatment.”

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