Serum inflammatory markers in patients with multiple sclerosis and their association with clinical manifestations and MRI findings

Masoume Nazeri, Hanieh Bazrafshan, Amin Abolhasani Foroughi
Acta Neurologica Belgica 2021 April 9
Inflammation in a myelinated portion of the nervous system is the mainstay of multiple sclerosis (MS). Elevation of inflammatory markers such as procalcitonin, ESR and hs-CRP is suspected to occur in MS patients. However, their prognostic role and their relationship with the severity of clinical symptoms of MS and MRI evidences has remained unnoticed in the literature. Hence, we aim to evaluate the serum level of inflammatory markers in the acute attack of MS patients and demonstrate the potential prognostic role of these inflammatory markers. This study was carried on case and control groups of definite MS patients. The cases were patients with active MS and were further allocated into four subgroups, while as control group included patients with non-active MS. Furthermore, all the participants underwent brain and cervical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using a contrast agent. A significant difference was detected in hs-CRP level (p = 0.009) across the subgroups of the cases. The highest level of hs-CRP was reported in patients with cerebellar and brain stem symptoms (mean = 6998.13 ± 3501.16), while the lowest in patients with pyramidal and urinary incontinence symptoms (mean = 1958.91 ± 2662.16). Moreover, correlation coefficient between values of MRI contrast-enhanced lesions and ESR level was statistically significant (Rs = 0.503 and p = 0.001). Elevation of ESR serum level positively correlates with disease activity evidenced by values of contrast-enhanced plaques of MRI in relapsing-remitting MS patients which may predict the disease activity. In addition, MS relapse with cerebellar and brain stem symptoms is associated with a high concentration of hs-CRP plasma level.

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