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Eye Scan Provides Information in Multiple Sclerosis

Complements information obtained by MRI

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A simple eye scan to measure retinal nerve fiber thickness may complement information on brain abnormalities obtained by MRI in patients with multiple sclerosis, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 16 issue of Neurology.

Eliza Gordon-Lipkin, from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues used optical coherence tomography (OCT) to measure retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in 40 patients with multiple sclerosis and 15 healthy controls. Cranial MRI was also used to measure brain parenchymal fraction and partial brain volumes.

The researchers found that after controlling for age, there was a partial correlation coefficient of 0.46 between brain parenchymal fraction and minimum retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in the multiple sclerosis patients, which increased to 0.69 in the subset of 20 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Nerve fiber thickness was associated with cerebrospinal fluid volume but not gray or white matter volume.

"In multiple sclerosis, retinal nerve fiber layer thickness is associated with brain parenchymal fraction and cerebrospinal fluid volume," Gordon-Lipkin and colleagues conclude. "These data suggest that quantification of axonal thickness in the retina by OCT provides concurrent information about MRI brain abnormality in multiple sclerosis."

Abstract
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