Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging changes correlate in a clinical trial monitoring cyclosporine therapy for multiple sclerosis. The MS Study Group

J Neuroimaging. 1997 Jan;7(1):1-7. doi: 10.1111/jon1997711.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to monitor cyclosporine therapy for chronic progressive multiple sclerosis in a multicenter clinical trial and an analysis was performed to determine whether there was a correlation between clinical changes and MRI changes. MRI was performed on 163 patients at the onset and completion of the 2-year study. Burden of disease (BOD, lesion load) was quantitated by a single observer using a computer program. Active lesions were also identified. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was determined every 3 months MRI data did not show any effect of cyclosporine treatment on BOD progression (mean 24.5% increase/yr) or lesion activity. However, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between the baseline total BOD value and the baseline EDSS score (r = 0.221, p = 0.005) and a positive correlation between the percent changes in BOD from baseline to exit and EDSS score (r = 0.186, p = 0.018). The study supports the concepts that MRI is a useful technique in monitoring therapeutic trials and that MRI is a direct measure of pathology.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cyclosporine / adverse effects
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Neurologic Examination / drug effects*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine