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BMC neurology

Immunological and short-term brain volume changes in relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis treated with interferon beta-1a subcutaneously three times weekly: an open-label two-arm trial.


PMID 26559139

Abstract

Brain volume atrophy is observed in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Brain volume changes were evaluated in 23 patients with RRMS treated with interferon β-1a 44 μg given subcutaneously (SC) three times a week (tiw) and 15 healthy controls. Percentages of whole brain and tissue-specific volume change were measured from baseline (0 months) to 3 months, from 3 to 6 months, and from baseline to 6 months using SIENAX Multi Time Point (SX-MTP) algorithms. Immunological status of patients was also determined and correlations between subsets of T cells and changes in brain volume were assessed. Interferon β-1a 44 μg SC tiw in 23 patients with RRMS resulted in significant reductions in whole brain and gray matter tissue volume early in the treatment course (baseline to 3 months; mean change; -0.95%; P = 0.030, -1.52%; P = 0.004, respectively), suggesting a short-term treatment-induced pseudoatrophy effect. From baseline to 6 months, there were significant correlations observed between decreased T- cell expression of IL-17 F and decreased whole brain and brain tissue-specific volume. These findings are consistent with the interpretation of the pseudoatrophy effect as resolution of inflammation following treatment initiation with interferon β-1a 44 μg SC tiw, rather than disease-related tissue loss. ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT01085318.