Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and neurologic disability in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Raed Behbehani, Abdullah Abu Al-Hassan, Abdullah Al-Khars, Devarajan Sriraman, Raed Alroughani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the correlation between disability progression assessed by expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT), macular thickness and macular volume obtained by spectral domain OCT (SDOCT) in patient with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Methods: We conducted a cross sectional study by recruiting 104 with relapsing-remitting MS patients and 51 healthy controls. Patients' clinical characteristics and neurologic disability was recorded fromthe subject clinical records. All patients had complete neuro-ophthalmic and neurological assessments. SDOCT performed to obtain peripapillary RNFLT, macular thickness and volume. Results: There was a statistically significant correlation between the mean EDSS scores and the average RNFLT (p = 0 .006; r = -0.268) along with superior (p = 0.020; r = -0.228), inferior (p = 0.007; r = -0.262) and temporal (p = 0.031; r = -0.212) quadrants. However, macular thickness (p = 0.205; r = -0.125) and volume (p= 0.178; r = -0.133) were not significantly correlated with EDSS scores. Conclusion: Our study showed a significant correlation between RNFLT and disability progression assessed by mean of EDSS in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. RNFLT can be a useful tool to estimate neurological disability in newly diagnosed patients or patients with early RRMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-308
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015


  • Axonal loss
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurologic disability
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal nerve fiber layer


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