The effect of interferon-beta on black holes in patients with multiple sclerosis

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2007 Jul;7(7):1079-91. doi: 10.1517/14712598.7.7.1079.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immunological disorder of the CNS. Linked to an initial transient inflammation as the result of blood-brain barrier leakage, the disease progresses into a neurodegenerative phase. MRI is the most powerful paraclinical tool for diagnosing and monitoring MS. Although contrast enhancing lesions are the visible events of blood-brain barrier breakdown, accumulation of hypointense lesions, namely black holes, are recognised as irreversible axonal loss. IFN-beta is administered as a first-line drug in MS patients. However, whether the effect of IFN-beta extends beyond just prevention of blood-brain barrier leakage and further prevents the formation of black holes or promotes their recovery once formed, is not yet understood.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Neuroglia / pathology


  • Interferon-beta