Anti-inflammatory disease-modifying treatment and short-term disability progression in SPMS

MSBase Study Grp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the effect of disease-modifying treatment on short-term disability outcomes in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).

Methods: Using MSBase, an international cohort study, we previously validated a highly accurate definition of SPMS. Here, we identified patients in MSBase who were either untreated or treated with a disease-modifying drug when meeting this definition. Propensity score matching was used to select subpopulations with comparable baseline characteristics. Disability outcomes were compared in paired, pairwise-censored analyses adjusted for treatment persistence, visit density, and relapse rates.

Results: Of the 2,381 included patients, 1,378 patients were matchable (treated n=689, untreated n=689). Median pairwise-censored follow-up was 2.1 years (quartiles 1.2-3.8 years). No difference in the risk of 6-month sustained disability progression was observed between the groups (hazard ratio [HR] 0.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.7-1.1, p=0.27). We also did not find differences in any of the secondary endpoints: risk of reaching Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score $ 7 (HR 0.6, 95% CI 0.4-1.1, p=0.10), sustained disability reduction (HR 1.0, 95% CI 0.8-1.3, p=0.79), or change in disability burden (area under the EDSS-time curve, beta=20.05, p=0.09). Secondary and sensitivity analyses confirmed the results.

Conclusions: Our pooled analysis of the currently available disease-modifying agents used after conversion to SPMS suggests that, on average, these therapies have no substantial effect on relapse-unrelated disability outcomes measured by the EDSS up to 4 years.

Classification of evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with SPMS, disease-modifying treatment has no beneficial effect on short-term disability progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1059
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2017


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