The objectives of the present study were to describe the frequency of aggressive multiple sclerosis (aMS) as well as to compare clinical and radiological characteristics in aMS and non-aMS patients included in RelevarEM (NCT03375177).
Methods: The eligible study population and cohort selection included adult-onset patients (≥18 years) with definite MS. AMS were defined as those reaching confirmed EDSS ≥ 6 within 5 years from symptom onset. Confirmation was achieved when a subsequent EDSS ≥ 6 was recorded at least six months later but within 5 years of the first clinical presentation. AMS and non-aMS were compared using the χ2 test for categorical and the Mann-Whitney for continuous variables at MS onset and multivariable analysis was performed using forward stepwise logistic regression with baseline characteristics at disease onset.
Results: A total of 2158 patients with MS were included: 74 aMS and 2084 non-aMS. The prevalence of aMS in our cohort was 3.4% (95%CI 2.7-4.2). AMS were more likely to be male (p = 0.003), older at MS onset (p < 0.001), have primary progressive MS (PPMS) phenotype (p = 0.03), multifocal presentation (p < 0.001), and spinal cord as well as infratentorial lesions at MRI during disease onset (p = 0.004 and p = 0.002, respectively).
Conclusion: 3.4% of our patient population could be considered aMS. Men, patients older at symptom onset, multifocal presentation, PPMS phenotype, and spinal cord as well as brainstem lesions on MRI at clinical presentation all had higher odds of having aMS.
Keywords: Aggressive; Cohorts; Disease history; Multiple sclerosis; Registry.
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