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More MS news articles for June 2003

Intrathecal IgM synthesis predicts the onset of new relapses and a worse disease course in MS

Neurology 2002;59:555-559
L. M. Villar, PhD, J. Masjuan, MD, P. González-Porqué, PhD, J. Plaza, MD, M. C. Sádaba, BS, E. Roldán, PhD, A. Bootello, MD and J. C. Alvarez-Cermeño, MD
From the Departments of Immunology and Neurology (Drs. Villar, Masjuan, González-Porqué, Plaza, Roldán, and Bootello, and M. Sádaba), Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain; and Department of Medicine (Dr. Alvarez-Cermeño), Alcalá de Henares University, Spain.


The authors have recently described that intrathecal IgM synthesis (ITMS) correlates with a higher disability in patients with clinically definite MS (CDMS).


To follow-up a group of patients with MS in the initial stages of the disease to evaluate if the presence of ITMS correlates with a worse evolution.


Oligoclonal IgM bands were performed in 22 patients with MS with a mean of 1.14 months of evolution.

Patients were followed for a period ranging from 6 to 36 months (mean, 21.4 months).

During follow-up, time to conversion to CDMS, number of relapses, and changes in Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score were evaluated.


Patients were divided into two groups according to the presence (Group 1, 10 patients) or absence (Group 2, 12 patients) of ITMS.

No clinical differences were observed between the groups at inclusion in the study.

During the follow-up, the probability of conversion to CDMS was greater in Group 1 (90% of the patients had converted to CDMS after 8 months of follow-up) than in Group 2 (51% of patients had converted to CDMS after 36 months of follow-up) (p = 0.0001).

Patients from Group 1 had more relapses (mean, 2.0) than those from Group 2 (mean, 0.58) (p = 0.02).

At the end of the study, patients from Group 1 had higher EDSS scores (mean, 1.70) than those from Group 2 (mean, 0.79) (p = 0.02).


The presence of oligoclonal IgM bands in CSF can be a prognostic marker in the early phases of MS.

© 2002 American Academy of Neurology