Longitudinally extensive spinal cord lesions (LESCLs) are believed to occur predominantly with opticospinal multiple sclerosis (OSMS) and are associated with disability. The purpose of this study is to describe the prevalence and patterns of spinal cord lesions in Hispanics with multiple sclerosis (MS) and OSMS and their association with disability. A cross-sectional study of 164 patients with complete MRIs was used. In each case the spinal cord was classified: LESCLs, scattered spinal cord lesions (sSCLs) or no spinal cord lesions (noSCLs). Clinical course was defined as classical MS or OSMS. Risk of disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale ≥4.0) was adjusted for age, disease duration and sex using logistic regression. A total of 125/164 (73 %) MS patients had spinal cord lesions (sSCLs, 57 %; LESCLs, 19 %), but only 11 (7 %) had OSMS. LESCLs were associated with disability (p < 0.0001), longer disease duration (p < 0.0001) and MS (n = 21 vs. n = 10 OSMS; p < 0.0001). LESCLs were also associated with the greatest risk to disability (OR 7.3, 95 % CIs 1.9-26.5; p = 0.003; sSCLs OR 2.5, 95 % CIs 0.9-7.1; p = 0.09) compared with noSCLs. LESCLs are more common than OSMS and are associated with worse disability even in patients with MS. These results suggest that LESCLs are a more important marker of disability in MS than OSMS and may be an early indicator of more aggressive disease in this population.
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord