Assessment of cervical spinal cord volume in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis

Elsevier, Clinical Imaging, Volume 90, October 2022
Suleman S., Harwood M., Kang P., Narayan R., Hughes J.N.
Purpose: Several studies of adult-onset multiple sclerosis (AOMS) patients have demonstrated that spinal cord volume loss is associated with disease progression and clinical disability. However, complementary studies of young patients with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (POMS) are lacking. Our retrospective study aimed to assess spinal cord volume in POMS patients compared with that in healthy controls. Methods: Cervical spinal cord magnetic resonance images were evaluated for 20 POMS patients and 20 age- and sex-matched controls. Cross-sectional areas (CSAs) were measured at C2 and C7, along with the spinal cord average segmental area (CASA). The POMS group was further subdivided based on the presence or absence of spinal cord lesions, specifically C2 lesions. Pairwise area and volume comparisons were made across the different groups. Results: No significant difference was found in CASA and CSA at C2 and C7 between POMS patients and comparative controls. However, CASA, CSA at C7, and estimated spinal cord volume were significantly lower in a small subset of POMS patients with C2 lesions (3 patients) than in controls (P = 0.001, 0.02, and 0.001, respectively). Conclusion: No significant difference was found in spinal cord areas and volumes between POMS patients and controls. This finding contrasts with spinal cord volume measurements in AOMS patients.