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More MS news articles for May 2004

Effect of interferon-beta 1A (IFNb 1A, Avonex) treatment on magnetic resonance (MR) image

Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2003 Nov-Dec;37(6):1185-97
Siger-Zajdel M, Lewanska M, Zaleski K, Czlonkowska A, Kwiecinski H, Losy J, Podemski R, Stelmasiak Z, Selmaj K.
Klinika Neurologii Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Lodzi.


To assess the effect of interferon-beta 1A (IFNb 1A, Avonex) treatment on magnetic resonance (MR) image in patients with remitting-relapsing multiple sclerosis (RR MS) who participated in the Polish Avonex trial.


RR MS patients (N = 126) participated in a two-year randomized open trial of Avonex treatment administered in the dose of 30 mcg once a week.

MRI was performed twice in each case: shortly before the patient's enrollment in the study and within a month from the study completion.

Changes in T2-weighted lesion volume and T1-weighted gadolinium-enhanced lesion volume, as well as the number of new T2-weighted and T1-weighted gadolinium-enhanced lesions were measured.


Over the two-year treatment period the mean volume of T2-weighted lesions decreased by 3.9% (p = 0.83) while that of T1-weighted gadolinium-enhanced lesions decreased by 79% (p = 0.084%) as compared to the baseline MRI evaluation.

The mean number of enhanced lesions after two years of Avonex therapy was reduced by 46.1% (p = 0.0035).

The total number of enhanced lesions decreased by 49.8% (p = 0.0078).

Both the number of new T2-weighted lesions, 3.7 per patient, and that of new T1-weighted gadolinium-enhanced lesions, 0.7 per patient, were comparable with the results obtained in other Avonex trials.


The results confirmed that interferon beta-1a (Avonex) has a significant effect in MS patients, slowing down the progress of their disease.

This effect is particularly visible in T1-weighted contrast-enhanced images, indicating an impact of the treatment particularly on the inflammatory stage of the demyelination process.