, Volume 259, Issue 2, pp 237-245
Date: 24 Aug 2011

Clinical and imaging correlates of the multiple sclerosis impact scale in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The association of pathology and neurological deficit with quality of life (QoL) in multiple sclerosis (MS) is not fully understood. In this study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of pathology—T1 and T2 lesion volume and ratio; active T2 lesion number; global and regional brain volume and atrophy; magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) for lesions, normal appearing grey and white matter (NAGM, NAWM); and spinal cord cross-sectional area—and measures of neurological disability (expanded disability status scale, EDSS), deficit (MS functional composite, MSFC) and inflammatory activity (relapse rate) were compared with the MS impact scale (MSIS-29), in participants in a trial of lamotrigine in secondary progressive MS. Data were collected from 118 people (85 female:33 male) aged 30–61 years (mean 50.6 years)—median EDSS 6.0 (range 4.0–7.5); mean disease duration 20.1 years (range 3–41)—at baseline and 2 years. Regression analysis was used to identify independently significant cross-sectional and longitudinal correlates of the physical (MSIS-phys) and psychological (MSIS-psych) components of the MSIS-29; longitudinal analysis using the 57 people in the placebo arm. The only independently significant correlate of MSIS-phys was 1/timed walk (TW) (p < 0.0001, R 2 = 0.13; p = 0.047, R 2 = 0.09); cross-sectionally the best model for MSIS-psych was the paced auditory serial addition test (PASAT-3) (p = 0.041) and T1-to-T2 lesion volume ratio (p = 0.009) (R 2 = 0.13); longitudinally it was change in 1/TW (p = 0.007), mean NAWM MTR (p = 0.003) and NAGM peak height (p = 0.048) (R 2 = 0.32). These data show that MRI measures and clinical measures do impact on quality of life, but the association is limited.