, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 155–162 | Cite as

MRI features suggestive of gadolinium retention do not correlate with Expanded Disability Status Scale worsening in Multiple Sclerosis

  • Sirio CocozzaEmail author
  • Giuseppe Pontillo
  • Roberta Lanzillo
  • Camilla Russo
  • Maria Petracca
  • Martina Di Stasi
  • Chiara Paolella
  • Elena Augusta Vola
  • Chiara Criscuolo
  • Marcello Moccia
  • Anna Lamberti
  • Serena Monti
  • Vincenzo Brescia Morra
  • Andrea Elefante
  • Giuseppe Palma
  • Enrico Tedeschi
  • Arturo Brunetti
Diagnostic Neuroradiology



Different studies showed correlations between gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) administrations and dentate nucleus (DN) T1-weighted hyperintensity. The clinical impact of gadolinium retention, however, is still largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate relations between MRI and clinical disability in relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) patients.


In this retrospective study, clinical data were obtained from 74 RR-MS patients at baseline and after a mean follow-up time of 3.6 years, including the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score and its change (ΔEDSS). Patients were considered showing clinical worsening if they score a ΔEDSS ≥ 1 (for baseline EDSS ≤ 5.5) or ΔEDSS ≥ 0.5 (for baseline EDSS > 5.5). From the MRI data, the presence of bilateral DN hyperintensity was recorded along with the calculation of longitudinal relaxation rate (R1) maps.


Patients with DN hyperintensity showed similar ΔEDSS change compared to those without visible changes on T1-weighted images (p = 0.32). Similarly, no DN-R1 difference was found comparing stable patients with those showing a significant clinical worsening (p = 0.54). Finally, no significant effect of DN-R1 values explained the variance in ΔEDSS (p = 0.76), thus suggesting their independence from the clinical outcome.


MS patients with DN hyperintensity show similar EDSS changes compared to subjects without DN high-signal intensity. Furthermore, mean DN-R1 values of patients with significant clinical worsening were comparable to those of stable subjects and were unrelated to clinical disability. Taken together, these findings suggest that gadolinium retention in the brain of MS patients does not affect their clinical worsening, expressed by the EDSS change.


Gadolinium-based contrast agents Multiple sclerosis GBCA accumulation EDSS 


Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this study.

Conflict of interest

SC and CR receive speaking fees from Genzyme. MM has received research grants from ECTRIMS-MAGNIMS and Merck.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sirio Cocozza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giuseppe Pontillo
    • 1
  • Roberta Lanzillo
    • 2
  • Camilla Russo
    • 1
  • Maria Petracca
    • 3
  • Martina Di Stasi
    • 1
  • Chiara Paolella
    • 1
  • Elena Augusta Vola
    • 1
  • Chiara Criscuolo
    • 2
  • Marcello Moccia
    • 2
  • Anna Lamberti
    • 2
  • Serena Monti
    • 4
  • Vincenzo Brescia Morra
    • 2
  • Andrea Elefante
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Palma
    • 5
  • Enrico Tedeschi
    • 1
  • Arturo Brunetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Advanced Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neurosciences and Reproductive and Odontostomatological SciencesUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.IRCCS SDNNaplesItaly
  5. 5.Institute of Biostructure and BioimagingNational Research CouncilNaplesItaly

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