Longitudinal optical coherence tomography study of optic atrophy in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: Results from a clinical trial cohort

Kimberly Winges, Charles F. Murchison, Dennis Bourdette, Rebecca Spain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Limited prospective information exists regarding spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). Objective: Document cross-sectional and longitudinal retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and macular ganglion cell plus inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) features of an SPMS clinical trial cohort. Methods: Prospective, observational study using a 2-year randomized placebo-controlled SPMS trial cohort with yearly SD-OCT testing. Post hoc analysis determined influences of optic neuritis (ON), disease duration, and baseline SD-OCT on annualized atrophy rates and on correlations between OCT and brain atrophy. Results: Mean RNFL and GCIPL values of patients (n = 47, mean age = 59 years, mean disease duration = 30 years) were significantly lower among eyes with prior ON than those without (no history of ON (NON)). Annualized RNFL (−0.31 µm/year) and GCIPL (−0.29 µm/year) atrophy rates did not differ between ON and NON eyes. Baseline RNFL thickness >75 µm was associated with greater annualized RNFL atrophy (−0.85 µm/year). Neither RNFL nor GCIPL atrophy correlated with whole-brain atrophy. Conclusion: This study suggests that eyes with and without ON history may be pooled for atrophy analysis in SPMS clinical trials using SD-OCT. Low baseline RNFL, small retinal atrophy rates, and lack of correlation with whole-brain atrophy in this population are important trial design considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 1 2017



  • longitudinal
  • macular ganglion cell
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • progressive
  • retinal nerve fiber layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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