Aziz Hatim Poonawalla1, Sushmita Datta1, Vaibhav Juneja1, Flavia Nelson2, Jerry Wolinsky2, Gary Cutter3, Ponnada Narayana1
1Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA; 2Neurology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA; 3Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL, USA
In multiple sclerosis (MS), quantitative MRI metrics are sought to correlate with patient disability as assessed on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). However, the correlation with EDSS using conventional metrics is poor, suggesting that they do not provide a broad enough characterization of the disease. To address this deficiency, we developed novel composite metrics, which combine conventional metrics with T2 values. These composites dramatically improved correlation with EDSS (r = 0.51, p < 0.0001). These new composites were also more resistant to the degrading effect on correlation of increased population size, suggesting that they are advantageous for multicenter trials.