Clinical impact of early brain atrophy in clinically isolated syndromes

F. Pérez-Miralles, J. Sastre-Garriga, M. Tintoré, G. Arrambide, C. Nos, H. Perkal, J. Río, M. C. Edo, A. Horga, J. Castilló, C. Auger, E. Huerga, A. Rovira, X. Montalban

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80 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The impact of global and tissue-specific brain atrophy on conversion to multiple sclerosis (MS) after a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) is not fully gauged. Objectives: We aimed to determine the magnitude and clinical relevance of brain volume dynamics in the first year after a CIS. Methods: We assessed 176 patients with CIS within 3 months of onset, clinically and by conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, at baseline and 1 year after clinical onset. We determined the percentage of brain volume change (PBVC) and the brain parenchymal (BPF), grey matter (GMF) and white matter (WMF) fractions. Results: The mean follow-up time was 53 months (SD = 16.8): 76 patients (43%) experienced a second attack, 32 (18%) fulfilled MRI-only 2005 McDonald criteria and 68 (39%) remained as CIS. Statistically significant decreases in the volume measures tested were observed in patients with a second attack, for BPF and PBVC; in both MS groups for GMF; whereas in all groups, the WMF was unchanged. Patients with a second attack had larger PBVC decreases (- 0.65% versus + 0.059%; p < 0.001). PBVC decreases below - 0.817% independently predicted shorter times to a second attack. Conclusions: Global brain and grey matter volume loss occurred within the first year after a CIS; brain volume loss predicted conversion to MS. © The Author(s) 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1878-1886
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Brain atrophy
  • brain volume
  • clinically isolated syndrome
  • disability
  • grey matter
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • multiple sclerosis


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