Background and objective: Several criteria for treatment response to interferon beta (IFNbeta) have been proposed, although there is no consensus among different investigators. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical predictors of response during the first 12 months of therapy.
Methods: This is a prospective and longitudinal study of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients treated with IFNbeta. Patients were classified based on the presence of new lesions on MRI, relapses, confirmed disability increase, or combinations of all these variables after 1 year of therapy. Regression analysis was performed in order to identify variables of response after a follow-up of 3 years.
Results: We included 222 RRMS patients. The logistic model demonstrated that only the combination of new active lesions on MRI with the presence of relapses (OR 4.4; 95% CI 1.6-12.5) or disability progression (Odds Ratio (OR) 7.1; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.6-33.9), or both (OR 6.5; 95% CI 1.9-23.4) achieved significant values to identify those patients with a poor outcome.
Conclusions: In RRMS patients treated with IFNbeta, the combination of measures of disease activity and the presence of new active lesions on MRI may have a prognostic value for identifying patients with disease activity in the second and third year of therapy.