Interferon-beta-1b effects on re-enhancing lesions in patients with multiple sclerosis

S. Gupta, J. M. Solomon, T. A. Tasciyan, M. M. Cao, R. D. Stone, J. L. Ostuni, J. M. Ohayon, P. A. Muraro, J. A. Frank, N. D. Richert, H. F. McFarland, Francesca Bagnato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interferon-beta (IFNβ) reduces the number and load of new contrast-enhancing lesions (CELs) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the ability of IFNβ to reduce lesion sizes and re-enhancements of pre-existing CELs has not been examined extensively. Activity of contrast re-enhancing lesions (Re-CELs) and contrast single-enhancing lesions (S-CELs) were monitored in ten patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) MS. These patients underwent monthly post-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) for an 18-month natural history phase and an 18-month therapy phase with subcutaneous IFNβ-1b, totaling 37 images per patient. The activity was analysed using the first image as a baseline and registering subsequent active monthly images to the baseline. There was a 76.4% reduction in the number of CELs with IFNβ therapy. The decrease was greater (P =0.003) for S-CELs (82.3%) than for Re-CELs (57.4%). S-CELs showed no changes in durations of enhancement and maximal lesion sizes with treatment. Exclusively for Re-CELs, IFNβ-1b significantly decreased maximal lesion sizes, total number of enhancement periods and total months of enhancement. Thus, IFNβ appears to be effective in reducing the degree of severity of inflammation among Re-CELs, as reflected by their reduced maximal lesion sizes and durations of enhancement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-668
Number of pages11
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Contrast-enhancing lesions
  • Interferon-beta
  • Lesion sizes
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Re-enhancing lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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