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Measures of Retinal Thickness Reflect CNS Pathology in MS

Last Updated: October 03, 2012.

In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) without a history of optic neuritis, retinal measures reflect global central nervous system pathology, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in the Archives of Neurology.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) without a history of optic neuritis, retinal measures reflect global central nervous system pathology, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in the Archives of Neurology.

Shiv Saidha, M.B.B.Ch., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed optical coherence tomography (OCT)-derived retinal layer thicknesses and magnetic resonance imaging of brain substructure volumes from 84 patients with MS and 24 healthy controls.

The researchers found that, in the eyes of MS patients without a history of optic neuritis, peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer and composite ganglion cell layer + inner plexiform layer thicknesses were both significantly associated with cortical gray matter and caudate volumes. In eyes without a history of optic neuritis, inner nuclear layer thickness was significantly associated with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery lesion volume, while there was a significant inverse correlation with normal-appearing white matter volume in relapsing-remitting MS. Intracranial volume correlated with several OCT measures in patients with MS and healthy controls. Due to the association between OCT measures and brain substructure volumes, all OCT-brain substructure relationships were adjusted for intracranial volume.

"Retinal measures reflect global central nervous system pathology in multiple sclerosis, with thicknesses of discrete retinal layers each appearing to be associated with distinct central nervous system processes," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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