Epub: Rojas et al. Sex-related differences in atrophy and lesion load in multiple sclerosis patients. Neurologia. 2012 Dec 13. doi:pii: S0213-4853(12)00277-0. 10.1016/j.nrl.2012.10.008.INTRODUCTION: Previous studies showed gender-associated clinical and MRI differences in multiple sclerosis (MS) evolution. However, only few studies were done with non conventional MRI techniques and no one was done in a South American MS population. The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences according to nonconventional MRI measures in patients with MS from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
METHODS: Relapsing-remitting MS patients (RRMS) with at least 6 years of follow up and an MRI at onset and at 6 years were included. Patients were assessed using nonconventional MRI measures: total brain volume (TBV), neocortical grey brain volume (GBV), white brain volume (WBV), lesion load (LL), % of brain volume change between onset and year 6 (% BVC) and regional brain volume change. Gender-related MRI differences were investigated using general linear model analysis.RESULTS: The 45 patients were included (25 female). Mean follow up time was 7.3±0.2 years. No differences in age, EDSS at onset, DMD treatment, TBV, GBV, WBV neither LL were found between gender at baseline. Six years later, males showed a decrease in TBV (P=.002) and GBV (P≤0.001) and an increase in LL (P=.02) and % BVC (P<.001) vs. females. Female patients showed a decrease in the volume of frontal subcortical region.
DISCUSSION: This is the first study showing differences in brain volume changes between gender in MS patients from South America. Future studies will confirm our initial findings.