Active MS is associated with accelerated retinal ganglion cell/inner plexiform layer thinning.
ABSTRACT: To determine the effect of clinical and radiologic disease activity on the rate of thinning of the ganglion cell/inner plexiform (GCIP) layer and the retinal nerve fiber layer in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) using optical coherence tomography (OCT).One hundred sixty-four patients with MS and 59 healthy controls underwent spectral-domain OCT scans every 6 months for a mean follow-up period of 21.1 months. Baseline and annual contrast-enhanced brain MRIs were performed. Patients who developed optic neuritis during follow-up were excluded from analysis.Patients with the following features of disease activity during follow-up had faster rates of annualized GCIP thinning: relapses (42% faster, p = 0.007), new gadolinium-enhancing lesions (54% faster, p < 0.001), and new T2 lesions (36% faster, p = 0.02). Annual GCIP thinning was 37% faster in those with disability progression during follow-up, and 43% faster in those with disease duration <5 years vs >5 years (p = 0.003). Annual rates of GCIP thinning were highest in patients exhibiting combinations of new gadolinium-enhancing lesions, new T2 lesions, and disease duration <5 years (70% faster in patients with vs without all 3 characteristics, p < 0.001).MS patients with clinical and/or radiologic nonocular disease activity, particularly early in the disease course, exhibit accelerated GCIP thinning. Our findings suggest that retinal changes in MS reflect global CNS processes, and that OCT-derived GCIP thickness measures may have utility as an outcome measure for assessing neuroprotective agents, particularly in early, active MS.
Project description:The aim of this work was to determine whether atrophy of specific retinal layers and brain substructures are associated over time, in order to further validate the utility of optical coherence tomography (OCT) as an indicator of neuronal tissue damage in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).Cirrus high-definition OCT (including automated macular segmentation) was performed in 107 MS patients biannually (median follow-up: 46 months). Three-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging brain scans (including brain-substructure volumetrics) were performed annually. Individual-specific rates of change in retinal and brain measures (estimated with linear regression) were correlated, adjusting for age, sex, disease duration, and optic neuritis (ON) history.Rates of ganglion cell?+?inner plexiform layer (GCIP) and whole-brain (r?=?0.45; p?<?0.001), gray matter (GM; r?=?0.37; p?<?0.001), white matter (WM; r?=?0.28; p?=?0.007), and thalamic (r?=?0.38; p?<?0.001) atrophy were associated. GCIP and whole-brain (as well as GM and WM) atrophy rates were more strongly associated in progressive MS (r?=?0.67; p?<?0.001) than relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS; r?=?0.33; p?=?0.007). However, correlation between rates of GCIP and whole-brain (and additionally GM and WM) atrophy in RRMS increased incrementally with step-wise refinement to exclude ON effects; excluding eyes and then patients (to account for a phenotype effect), the correlation increased to 0.45 and 0.60, respectively, consistent with effect modification. In RRMS, lesion accumulation rate was associated with GCIP (r?=?-0.30; p?=?0.02) and inner nuclear layer (r?=?-0.25; p?=?0.04) atrophy rates.Over time GCIP atrophy appears to mirror whole-brain, and particularly GM, atrophy, especially in progressive MS, thereby reflecting underlying disease progression. Our findings support OCT for clinical monitoring and as an outcome in investigative trials.
Project description:Background:Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides quantitative measures of retinal layer thickness. Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS) onset and disease severity: its effects on OCT metrics have not been assessed. Objective:The objective of this study was to assess the effect of smoking history on retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and ganglion cell-inner plexiform (GCIP) of MS patients by OCT. Methods:112 MS patients were recruited from the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Spectralis OCT scans were acquired to measure GCIP, peripapillary RNFL, and total macular volume. Multivariable linear mixed effects regression model assessed RNFL and GCIP change with fixed effects for smoking history while adjusting for optic neuritis eye status, age, disease duration, sex, baseline EDSS, and disease modifying therapies (DMTs). Results:Smoking histories were available for 102 patients: 46 (45.10%) had a history of smoking cigarettes and 56 (54.90%) never smoked. No statistically significant differences were found between ever-smokers and never-smokers with respect to GCIP, RNFL, and macular volume. Conclusion:Our study shows no significant difference in retinal thickness between ever-smokers and never-smokers. If confirmed, this result suggests mechanistic differences between the retina and other central nervous system (CNS) compartments in response to smoking and should be noted when considering OCT as a surrogate measure of CNS activity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Serum antibodies against myelin-oligodendrocyte-glycoprotein (MOG-IgG) are detectable in a proportion of patients with acute or relapsing neuroinflammation. It is unclear, if neuro-axonal damage occurs only in an attack-dependent manner or also progressively. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate longitudinally intra-retinal layer changes in eyes without new optic neuritis (ON) in MOG-IgG-seropositive patients. METHODS:We included 38 eyes of 24 patients without ON during follow-up (F/U) [median years (IQR)] 1.9 (1.0-2.2) and 56 eyes of 28 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC). The patient group's eyes included 18 eyes without (EyeON-) and 20 eyes with history of ON (EyeON+). Using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), we acquired peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (pRNFL) and volumes of combined ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIP), inner nuclear layer (INL), and macular volume (MV). High-contrast visual acuity (VA) was assessed at baseline. RESULTS:At baseline in EyeON-, pRNFL (94.3 ± 15.9 μm, p = 0.36), INL (0.26 ± 0.03 mm3, p = 0.11), and MV (2.34 ± 0.11 mm3, p = 0.29) were not reduced compared to HC; GCIP showed thinning (0.57 ± 0.07 mm3; p = 0.008), and VA was reduced (logMAR 0.05 ± 0.15 vs. - 0.09 ± 0.14, p = 0.008) in comparison to HC. Longitudinally, we observed pRNFL thinning in models including all patient eyes (annual reduction - 2.20 ± 4.29 μm vs. - 0.35 ± 1.17 μm, p = 0.009) in comparison to HC. Twelve EyeON- with other than ipsilateral ON attacks ≤ 6 months before baseline showed thicker pRNFL at baseline and more severe pRNFL thinning in comparison to 6 EyeON- without other clinical relapses. CONCLUSIONS:We observed pRNFL thinning in patients with MOG-IgG during F/U, which was not accompanied by progressive GCIP reduction. This effect could be caused by a small number of EyeON- with other than ipsilateral ON attacks within 6 months before baseline. One possible interpretation could be a reduction of the swelling, which could mean that MOG-IgG patients show immune-related swelling in the CNS also outside of an attack's target area.
Project description:Retinal nerve fiber and ganglion cell+inner plexiform (GCIP) layer thinning following multiple sclerosis-related acute optic neuritis (AON) is well described. However, whether AON results in changes in the inner nuclear (INL), outer plexiform (OPL), outer nuclear (ONL) and/or photoreceptor segment (PS) layers remains undetermined.The objective of this paper is to determine if INL+OPL and/or ONL+PS changes occur following AON.Thirty-three AON patients underwent serial optical coherence tomography (OCT) and visual function testing (mean follow-up: 25 months). Longitudinal changes in retinal layer thickness were analyzed using mixed-effects linear regression.Four months following AON, the mean decrease in GCIP thickness relative to baseline was 11.4% (p < 0.001). At four months, a concomitant 3.4% increase in average ONL+PS thickness was observed (p < 0.001). The percentage decrease in GCIP thickness and increase in ONL+PS thickness were strongly correlated (r = -0.70; p < 0.001). Between months 4 to 12, ONL+PS thickness declined and, at 12 months, was no longer significantly different from baseline (mean change: 0.5%; p = 0.37). Similar, albeit less robust, changes in the INL+OPL were observed.Following AON, dynamic changes occur in the deep retinal layers, which are proportional to GCIP thinning. These novel findings help further our understanding of the biological and/or anatomical sequelae resulting from AON.
Project description:Background:Reduced peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) and combined ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIP) thicknesses as measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT) have been observed in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The purpose was to determine the most associative OCT measure to level of cognitive and physical disability in MS. Methods:Data were collected from 546 MS patients and 175 healthy controls (HCs). We compared the average pRNFL, temporal pRNFL (T-pRNFL), overall inner ganglion cell/inner plexiform layer (GCIP), and the overall ganglion cell complex (GCC) including macular RNFL and GCIP thicknesses measurements in differentiating MS subtypes from HCs. The association between OCT measures, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) were assessed using generalized estimating equations models. Results:Both peripapillary and macular OCT measurements could differentiate all MS subtypes from HCs. The SDMT score was significantly associated with reduced thickness of all OCT measures, mostly in average pRNFL (0.14?µm, P?=?0.001) and T-pRNFL (0.17?µm, P?<?0.001). The EDSS score was significantly associated with reduced inner retinal layer thickness. The largest reduction was seen in T-pRNFL (-1.52??m, P?<?0.001) and inner GCC (-1.78??m, P?<?0.001). Conclusion:The T-pRNFL is highly sensitive and associated with level of both cognitive and physical disability.
Project description:Cross-sectional studies of optical coherence tomography (OCT) show that retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness is reduced in multiple sclerosis (MS) and correlates with visual function. We determined how longitudinal changes in RNFL thickness relate to visual loss. We also examined patterns of RNFL thinning over time in MS eyes with and without a prior history of acute optic neuritis (ON).Patients underwent OCT measurement of RNFL thickness at baseline and at 6-month intervals during a mean follow-up of 18 months at 3 centers. Low-contrast letter acuity (2.5%, 1.25% contrast) and visual acuity (VA) were assessed.Among 299 patients (593 eyes) with >or=6 months follow-up, eyes with visual loss showed greater RNFL thinning compared to eyes with stable vision (low-contrast acuity, 2.5%: p < 0.001; VA: p = 0.005). RNFL thinning increased over time, with average losses of 2.9microm at 2 to 3 years and 6.1microm at 3 to 4.5 years (p < 0.001 vs 0.5-1-year follow-up interval). These patterns were observed for eyes with or without prior history of ON. Proportions of eyes with RNFL loss greater than test-retest variability (>or=6.6microm) increased from 11% at 0 to 1 year to 44% at 3 to 4.5 years (p < 0.001).Progressive RNFL thinning occurs as a function of time in some patients with MS, even in the absence of ON, and is associated with clinically significant visual loss. These findings are consistent with subclinical axonal loss in the anterior visual pathway in MS, and support the use of OCT and low-contrast acuity as methods to evaluate the effectiveness of putative neuroprotection protocols.
Project description:Microcystic macular oedema (MMO) of the retinal inner nuclear layer (INL) has been identified in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by use of optical coherence tomography (OCT). We aimed to determine whether MMO of the INL, and increased thickness of the INL are associated with disease activity or disability progression.This retrospective study was done at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, MD, USA), between September, 2008, and March, 2012. Patients with MS and healthy controls underwent serial OCT scans and clinical assessments including visual function. OCT scanning, including automated intraretinal layer segmentation, yielded thicknesses of the retinal nerve fibre layer, the ganglion cell layer plus inner plexiform layer, the INL plus outer plexiform layer (the combined thickness of these layers was used as a surrogate measure of INL thickness), and the outer nuclear layer. Patients with MS also underwent annual brain MRI scans. Disability scores were compared with the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Mixed-effects linear regression was used to compare OCT measures and letter-acuity scores. Logistic regression was used to examine the relations of baseline OCT thicknesses with clinical and radiological parameters.164 patients with MS and 60 healthy controls were assessed. Mean follow-up was 25·8 months (SD 9·1) for patients with MS and 22·4 months (11·4) for healthy controls. Ten (6%) patients with MS had MMO during at least one study visit; MMO was visible at baseline in four of these patients. Healthy controls did not have MMO. Patients with MS and MMO had higher baseline MS severity scores (median 5·93 [range 2·44-8·91]) than those who did not have MMO at any time during the study (151 patients; 3·81 [0·13-9·47]; p=0·032), although expanded disability status scale (EDSS) scores were not significantly different (5·2 [1·0-6·5] for patients with MS and MMO vs 2·5 [0·0-8·0] for those without MMO; p=0·097). The eyes of patients with MS and MMO (12 eyes) versus those without MMO (302 eyes) had lower letter-acuity scores (100% contrast, p=0·017; 2·5% contrast, p=0·031; 1·25% contrast, p=0·014), and increased INL thicknesses (p=0·003) at baseline. Increased baseline INL thickness in patients with MS was associated with the development of contrast-enhancing lesions (p=0·007), new T2 lesions (p=0·015), EDSS progression (p=0·034), and relapses in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (p=0·008) during the study. MMO was not associated with disease activity during follow-up.Increased INL thickness on OCT is associated with disease activity in MS. If this finding is confirmed, INL thickness could be a useful predictor of disease progression in patients with MS.National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Eye Institute, Braxton Debbie Angela Dillon and Skip Donor Advisor Fund.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Trans-synaptic degeneration (TSD) describes the propagation of neuronal injury through synaptic pathways in the human nervous system and may be linked to the accelerated retinal atrophy seen in multiple sclerosis (MS). RESULTS:We report six cases where homonymous, hemi-macular ganglion cell?+?inner plexiform (GCIP) thickness reduction was seen in conjunction with posterior visual pathway lesions. Macular microcystoid changes of the inner nuclear layer (INL) were seen in a subset of three subjects. CONCLUSION:Our findings highlight the utility of assessing regional GCIP changes to identify potential retrograde TSD in MS and demonstrate that INL changes may be an accompaniment in such instances.
Project description:To compare longitudinal glaucoma progression detection using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and visual field (VF).Validity assessment.We analyzed subjects with more than 4 semi-annual follow-up visits (every 6 months) in the multicenter Advanced Imaging for Glaucoma Study. Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to map the thickness of the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (NFL) and ganglion cell complex (GCC). OCT-based progression detection was defined as a significant negative trend for either NFL or GCC. VF progression was reached if either the event or trend analysis reached significance.The analysis included 356 glaucoma suspect/preperimetric glaucoma (GS/PPG) eyes and 153 perimetric glaucoma (PG) eyes. Follow-up length was 54.1 ± 16.2 months for GS/PPG eyes and 56.7 ± 16.0 for PG eyes. Progression was detected in 62.1% of PG eyes and 59.8% of GS/PPG eyes by OCT, significantly (P < .001) more than the detection rate of 41.8% and 27.3% by VF. In severity-stratified analysis of PG eyes, OCT had significantly higher detection rate than VF in mild PG (63.1% vs. 38.7%, P < .001), but not in moderate and advanced PG. The rate of NFL thinning slowed dramatically in advanced PG, but GCC thinning rate remained relatively steady and allowed good progression detection even in advanced disease. The Kaplan-Meier time-to-event analyses showed that OCT detected progression earlier than VF in both PG and GS/PPG groups.OCT is more sensitive than VF for the detection of progression in early glaucoma. While the utility of NFL declines in advanced glaucoma, GCC remains a sensitive progression detector from early to advanced stages.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>White matter damage in the visual pathway is common in multiple sclerosis (MS) and is associated with retinal thinning, although the underlying mechanism of association remains unclear. The goal of this work was to evaluate the presence and extent of white matter tract integrity (WMTI) alterations in the optic radiation (OR) in people with MS and to investigate the association between WMTI metrics and retinal thinning in the eyes of MS patients without a history of optic neuritis (ON) as measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). We hypothesized that WMTI metrics would reflect axonal damage that occurs in the OR in MS, and that axonal alterations revealed by WMTI would be associated with retinal thinning.<h4>Methods</h4>Twenty-nine MS patients without previous ON in at least one eye and twenty-nine age-matched healthy controls (HC) were scanned on a dedicated high-gradient 3-Tesla MRI scanner with 300 mT/m maximum gradient strength using a multi-shell diffusion MRI protocol (b = 800, 1500, 2400 s/mm<sup>2</sup>). The patients were divided into two subgroups according to history without ON (N = 18) or with ON in one eye (N = 11). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics and WMTI metrics derived from diffusion kurtosis imaging were assessed in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) of the OR and in focal lesions. Retinal thickness in the eyes of MS patients was measured by OCT. Student's t-test was used to assess group differences between MRI metrics. Linear regression was used to study the relationship between OCT metrics, including retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and combined ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer thickness (GCL/IPL), visual acuity measures and DTI and WMTI metrics.<h4>Results</h4>OR NAWM in MS showed significantly decreased axonal water fraction (AWF) compared to HC (0.36 vs 0.39, p < 0.001), with similar trends observed in AWF of lesions compared to NAWM (0.27 vs 0.36, p < 0.001). Fractional anisotropy (FA) was lower in OR NAWM of MS patients compared to HC (0.49 vs 0.52, p < 0.001). In patients without ON, AWF was the only diffusion MRI metric that was significantly associated with average RNFL (r = 0.68, p = 0.005), adjusting for age, sex and disease duration and correcting for multiple comparisons. Of all the DTI and WMTI metrics, AWF was the strongest and most significant predictor of average RNFL thickness in MS patients without ON. There was no significant correlation between visual acuity scores and DTI or WMTI metrics after correction for multiple comparisons.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Axonal damage may be the substrate of previously observed DTI alterations in the OR, as supported by the significant reduction in AWF within both NAWM and lesions of the OR in MS. Our results support the concept that axonal damage is widespread throughout the visual pathway in MS and may be mediated through trans-synaptic degeneration.