Quantitative MRI and cerebrospinal fluid inflammatory mediators in Brazilian patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis before and after treatment with immunomodulators: a longitudinal study

Neuroimmunomodulation. 2012;19(5):277-82. doi: 10.1159/000335889. Epub 2012 Mar 30.


Objective: The pathological hallmarks of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions are inflammation, demyelination, axon loss and gliosis. The aim of this study was to verify the relation of brain lesion load and volume of the cerebral hemisphere determined by brain MRI with intrathecal antibody synthesis.

Methods: A longitudinal study of 54 Brazilian patients with the relapsing-remitting form of MS was undertaken after an average of 6.3 ± 2.7 years of treatment. MRI scans were performed, and cerebrospinal fluid samples were collected both during the diagnostic process and after treatment with β-interferon or glatiramer acetate.

Results: A positive correlation between the IgG index and total lesion volume was identified. Intrathecal IgG against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was observed in 21 patients. The number of contrast-enhanced lesions observed in these patients was correlated with intrathecal IgM synthesis. Brain atrophy was observed early in the disease, with the number of relapses inversely correlated with brain volume.

Conclusion: The high intrathecal IgG synthesis observed in these relapsing-remitting MS patients is associated with the brain lesion burden and the presence of antibodies to EBV, whereas intrathecal IgM synthesis is associated with the activity of the disease, as revealed by MRI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Glatiramer Acetate
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting* / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting* / drug therapy
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting* / pathology
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Young Adult


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Peptides
  • Glatiramer Acetate
  • Interferon-beta