A comparison of brain magnetic resonance imaging lesions in multiple sclerosis by race with reference to disability progression

Yuri Nakamura, Laura Gaetano, Takuya Matsushita, Altermatt Anna, Till Sprenger, Ernst Wilhelm Radue, Jens Wuerfel, Lorena Bauer, Michael Amann, Koji Shinoda, Noriko Isobe, Ryo Yamasaki, Takahiko Saida, Ludwig Kappos, Jun ichi Kira

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Abstract

Background: We compared the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features between Japanese and Caucasian patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and identified the relationships between MRI features and disability. Methods: From the baseline data of phase II fingolimod trials, 95 Japanese and 246 Caucasian relapsing-remitting MS patients were enrolled. The number, volume, and distribution of brain MRI lesions were evaluated using T2-weighted (T2W) images. Cross-sectional total normalized brain volume (NBV), normalized cortical gray matter volume, normalized deep gray matter volume (NDGMV), normalized white matter volume (NWMV), and normalized thalamic volume were measured. Results: Japanese patients had significantly lower Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores than Caucasian patients (mean 2.0 vs. 2.3, p = 0.008), despite a similar disease duration. Japanese patients showed a trend towards fewer T2W-lesions (median 50 vs. 65, p = 0.08) and significantly lower frequencies of cerebellar and parietal lobe lesions (p = 0.02 for both) than Caucasian patients. There were no differences in T2W-lesion volume between races, whereas Japanese patients had a significantly larger T2W-lesion volume per lesion compared with Caucasian patients (median 140 mm3 vs. 85 mm3, p < 0.0001). T2W-lesion volumes were positively correlated with EDSS scores in Japanese patients (p < 0.0001). In both races, NBV, normalized cortical gray matter volume, NDGMV, and thalamic volume were negatively correlated with disease duration and EDSS scores (p < 0.01 for all). NWMV was negatively correlated with disease duration and EDSS scores only in Caucasian patients (p = 0.03 and p = 0.004, respectively). NBV, NDGMV, NWMV, and thalamic volume were consistently smaller in Japanese compared with Caucasian patients throughout the entire examined disease duration (p = 0.046, p = 0.01, p = 0.005, and p = 0.04, respectively). Japanese patients had a significantly faster reduction in NDGMV (p = 0.001), particularly for thalamic volume (p = 0.001), with disease duration compared with Caucasian patients. Conclusions: Gray matter atrophy is a common denominator for disability in Japanese and Caucasian patients. Additional contributory factors for disability include T2W-lesion volume in Japanese patients and white matter atrophy in Caucasian patients. Less frequent parietal and cerebellar involvement with fewer T2W-lesions may underlie milder disability in Japanese patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number255
JournalJournal of neuroinflammation
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 5 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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    Nakamura, Y., Gaetano, L., Matsushita, T., Anna, A., Sprenger, T., Radue, E. W., Wuerfel, J., Bauer, L., Amann, M., Shinoda, K., Isobe, N., Yamasaki, R., Saida, T., Kappos, L., & Kira, J. I. (2018). A comparison of brain magnetic resonance imaging lesions in multiple sclerosis by race with reference to disability progression. Journal of neuroinflammation, 15(1), [255]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-018-1295-1