Maria Assunta Rocca1,2, Mark A. Horsfield3, Stefania Sala1, Paola Valsasina1, J. Drulovic4, Maria Emma Rodegher2, Domenico Caputo5, Massimiliano Copetti6, T. Stosic-Opincal7, Sarlota Mesaros4, Giancarlo Comi2, Massimo Filippi1,2
1Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, Scientific Institute & University Hospital San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; 2Department of Neurology, Scientific Institute & University Hospital San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; 3Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom; 4Institute of Neurology, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade; 5Department of Neurology, Scientific Institute Fondazione Don Gnocchi, Milan, Italy; 6Biostatistics Unit, IRCCS-Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy; 7Institute of Radiology, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade
In this multi-center study, we applied a new semi-automatic method which allows segmenting the entire cervical cord, to investigate the correlation between cervical cord atrophy and clinical disability in 333 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), spanning the major clinical phenotypes, with a wide range of clinical disability. Cervical cord area was significantly different among the different MS clinical phenotypes, and it was significantly associated with clinical disability, with a differential effect among disease clinical phenotypes. The stability of cervical cord area measurement among different centers supports its use as surrogate marker to monitor disease progression in multicenter trials.