Prognosis of a second clinical event from baseline MRI in patients with a CIS: a multicenter study using a machine learning approach

Neuroradiology. 2022 Jul;64(7):1383-1390. doi: 10.1007/s00234-021-02885-7. Epub 2022 Jan 20.


Purpose: To predict the occurrence of a second clinical event in patients with a CIS suggestive of MS, from baseline magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), by means of a pattern recognition approach.

Methods: Two hundred sixty-six patients with a CIS were recruited from four participating centers. Over a follow-up of 3 years, 130 patients had a second clinical episode and 136 did not. Grey matter and white matter T1-hypointensities masks segmented from 3D T1-weighted images acquired on 3 T scanners were used as features for the classification approach. Differences between CIS that remained CIS and those that developed a second event were assessed at a global level and at a regional level, arranging the regions according to their contribution to the classification model.

Results: All classification metrics were around or even below 50% for both global and regional approaches. Accuracies did not change when T1-hypointensity maps were added to the model; just the specificity was increased up to 80%. Among the 30 regions with the largest contribution, 26 were grey matter and 4 were white matter regions. For grey matter, regions contributing showed either a larger or a smaller volume in the group of patients that remained CIS, compared to those with a second event. The volume of T1-hypointensities was always larger for the group that presented a second event.

Conclusions: Prediction of a second clinical event in CIS patients from baseline MRI seems to present a highly heterogeneous pattern, leading to very low classification accuracies. Adding the T1-hypointensity maps does not seem to improve the accuracy of the classification model.

Keywords: Clinically isolated syndrome; Machine learning; Magnetic resonance imaging; Multiple sclerosis; Prognosis; Support vector machine.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Gray Matter / diagnostic imaging
  • Gray Matter / pathology
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / pathology
  • Prognosis