Spinal cord and infratentorial lesions in radiologically isolated syndrome are associated with decreased retinal ganglion cell/inner plexiform layer thickness

Angeliki Filippatou, Thomas Shoemaker, Megan Esch, Madiha Qutab, Natalia Gonzalez-Caldito, Jerry L. Prince, Ellen M. Mowry, Peter A. Calabresi, Shiv Saidha, Elias S. Sotirchos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The role of retinal imaging with optical coherence tomography (OCT) in assessing individuals with radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS) remains largely unexplored. Objective: To assess retinal layer thicknesses in RIS and examine their associations with clinical features suggestive of increased risk for conversion to multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: A total of 30 RIS subjects and 60 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) underwent retinal imaging with spectral-domain OCT, followed by automated segmentation of retinal layers. Results: Overall, retinal layer thicknesses did not differ between RIS and HC. However, RIS subjects with spinal cord (SC) lesions had lower ganglion cell + inner plexiform layer (GCIP) thickness compared to HC (−4.41 μm; p = 0.007) and RIS without SC lesions (–3.53 μm; p = 0.041). Similarly, RIS subjects with infratentorial (IT) brain lesions had lower GCIP thickness compared to HC (–4.07 μm; p < 0.001) and RIS without IT lesions (–3.49 μm; p = 0.029). Multivariate analyses revealed that the presence of SC or IT lesions were independently associated with lower GCIP thickness in RIS (p = 0.04 and p = 0.03, respectively). Other patient characteristics, including sex, abnormal cerebrospinal fluid, and presence of gadolinium-enhancing or juxtacortical lesions, were not associated with retinal layer thicknesses. Conclusion: The presence of SC or IT lesions in RIS may be associated with retinal neuro-axonal loss, supporting the presence of more disseminated disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1878-1887
Number of pages10
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Volume25
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Keywords

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • demyelination
  • optical coherence tomography
  • radiologically isolated syndrome
  • retina
  • spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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