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Cortical grey matter sodium accumulation is associated with disability and secondary progressive disease course in relapse-onset multiple sclerosis.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry; 90(7): 755-760, 2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30948625


Sodium (23Na)-MRI is an emerging imaging technique to investigate in vivo changes in tissue viability, reflecting neuroaxonal integrity and metabolism. Using an optimised 23Na-MRI protocol with smaller voxel sizes and improved tissue contrast, we wanted to investigate whether brain total sodium concentration (TSC) is a biomarker for long-term disease outcomes in a cohort of patients with relapse-onset multiple sclerosis (MS), followed from disease onset.


We performed a cross-sectional study in 96 patients followed up ~ 15 years after a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and 34 healthy controls. Disease course was classified as CIS, relapsing-remitting MS or secondary progressive MS (SPMS). We acquired 1H-MRI and 23Na-MRI and calculated the TSC in cortical grey matter (CGM), deep grey matter, normal-appearing white matter (WM) and WM lesions. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify independent associations of tissue-specific TSC with physical disability and cognition, with adjustment for tissue volumes.


TSC in all tissues was higher in patients with MS compared with healthy controls and patients who remained CIS, with differences driven by patients with SPMS. Higher CGM TSC was independently associated with Expanded Disability Status Scale (R2=0.26), timed 25-foot walk test (R2=0.23), 9-hole peg test (R2=0.23), Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (R2=0.29), Symbol Digit Modalities Test (R2=0.31) and executive function (R2=0.36) test scores, independent of grey matter atrophy.


Sodium accumulation in CGM reflects underlying neuroaxonal metabolic abnormalities relevant to disease course heterogeneity and disability in relapse-onset MS. TSC and should be considered as an outcome measure in future neuroprotection trials.