Neurofilament light chain and MRI volume parameters as markers of neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis.

  Vol. 41 (1) 2020 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2020; 41(1): 17-26 PubMed PMID:  32338853    Citation

BACKGROUND: Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is considered a major marker of neurodegeneration and disease activity. Higher levels of NfL are associated with worse clinical outcomes and increased brain atrophy. In treated patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), we aimed to determine the level of NfL, an association between NfL and demographic, clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics as well as brain volume parameters. We wanted to confirm that level of NfL is clinically useful as biomarker of neurodegeneration and disease activity. METHODS: 56 treated RRMS patients were enrolled. Plasmatic levels of NfL (pNfL) were measured by SIMOA® technique. Clinical severity of MS was expressed by Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and volumetric analysis of MRI data was performed using Icobrain software. RESULTS: The mean pNfL level was significantly higher in MS patients than in healthy controls (14.73 ± 6.38 versus 6.67 ± 3.9, p<0.001). In patients, we did not find association between pNfL and MRI activity, number of new T2 lesions, and number of enhancing lesions. Levels of pNfL correlated significantly with atrophy of whole brain volume (Wbv), atrophy of grey matter volume (Gmv), and negatively with Wbv. We found significantly positive correlation between pNfL levels and EDSS. CONCLUSION: Study shows association of pNfL with Wbv, presence of brain atrophy and EDSS, and strong correlation of EDSS with multiple MRI volume parameters. We did not confirm association pNfL with disease activity. Our data suggest that pNfL and MRI volume parameters could be considered as biomarkers of neurodegeneration in MS.