Background: Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels have been associated with a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis and increased relapse rates in patients with multiple sclerosis. As a sterol hormone involved in multiple immunologic pathways, vitamin D may play a role in preventing monophasic immune-mediated central nervous system attacks from developing into recurrent disease.
Objective: To investigate the association between low serum vitamin D levels and recurrent spinal cord disease.
Design, setting, and patients: We performed a retrospective analysis at Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center, Baltimore, Maryland, evaluating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in 77 patients with monophasic and recurrent inflammatory diseases of the spinal cord.
Main outcome measure: Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
Results: Vitamin D levels are significantly lower in patients who developed recurrent spinal cord disease, adjusting for season, age, sex, and race.
Conclusions: This study provides a basis for a prospective trial of measuring 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in these patient populations and assessing the influence of vitamin D supplementation on the frequency of relapses in those with recurrent inflammatory spinal cord disease.