Optical coherence tomography segmentation analysis in relapsing remitting versus progressive multiple sclerosis

Raed Behbehani, Abdullah Abu Al-Hassan, Ali Al-Salahat, Devarajan Sriraman, J. D. Oakley, Raed Alroughani

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Optical coherence tomography (OCT) with retinal segmentation analysis is a valuable tool in assessing axonal loss and neuro-degeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS) by in-vivo imaging, delineation and quantification of retinal layers. There is evidence of deep retinal involvement in MS beyond the inner retinal layers. The ultra-structural retinal changes in MS in different MS phenotypes can reflect differences in the pathophysiologic mechanisms. There is limited data on the pattern of deeper retinal layer involvement in progressive MS (PMS) versus relapsing remitting MS (RRMS). We have compared the OCT segmentation analysis in patients with relapsing-remitting MS and progressive MS. Methods Cross-sectional study of 113 MS patients (226 eyes) (29 PMS, 84 RRMS) and 38 healthy controls (72 eyes). Spectral domain OCT (SDOCT) using the macular cube acquisition protocol (Cirrus HDOCT 5000; Carl Zeiss Meditec) and segmentation of the retinal layers for quantifying the thicknesses of the retinal layers. Segmentation of the retinal layers was carried out utilizing Orion software (Voxeleron, USA) for quantifying the thicknesses of individual retinal layers. Results The retinal nerve finer layer (RNFL) (p = 0.023), the ganglion-cell/inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) (p = 0.006) and the outer plexiform layer (OPL) (p = 0.033) were significantly thinner in PMS compared to RRMS. There was significant negative correlation between the outer nuclear layer (ONL) and EDSS (r = -0.554, p = 0.02) in PMS patients. In RRMS patients with prior optic neuritis, the GCIPL correlated negatively (r = -0.317; p = 0.046), while the photoreceptor layer (PR) correlated positively with EDSS (r = 0.478; p = 0.003). Conclusions Patients with PMS exhibit more atrophy of both the inner and outer retinal layers than RRMS. The ONL in PMS and the GCIPL and PR in RRMS can serve as potential surrogate of disease burden and progression (EDSS). The specific retinal layer predilection and its correlation with disability may reflect different pathophysiologic mechanisms and various stages of progression in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0172120
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


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