A composite measure to explore visual disability in primary progressive multiple sclerosis

Valentina Poretto, Maria Petracca, Catarina Saiote, Enricomaria Mormina, Jonathan Howard, Aaron Miller, Fred D. Lublin, Matilde Inglese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide complementary information on visual system damage in multiple sclerosis (MS). Objectives: The objective of this paper is to determine whether a composite OCT/MRI score, reflecting cumulative damage along the entire visual pathway, can predict visual deficits in primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). Methods: Twenty-five PPMS patients and 20 age-matched controls underwent neuro-ophthalmologic evaluation, spectral-domain OCT, and 3T brain MRI. Differences between groups were assessed by univariate general linear model and principal component analysis (PCA) grouped instrumental variables into main components. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between low-contrast visual acuity (LCVA), OCT/MRI-derived metrics and PCA-derived composite scores. Results: PCA identified four main components explaining 80.69% of data variance. Considering each variable independently, LCVA 1.25% was significantly predicted by ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) thickness, thalamic volume and optic radiation (OR) lesion volume (adjusted R2 0.328, p = 0.00004; adjusted R2 0.187, p = 0.002 and adjusted R2 0.180, p = 0.002). The PCA composite score of global visual pathway damage independently predicted both LCVA 1.25% (adjusted R2 value 0.361, p = 0.00001) and LCVA 2.50% (adjusted R2 value 0.323, p = 0.00003). Conclusion: A multiparametric score represents a more comprehensive and effective tool to explain visual disability than a single instrumental metric in PPMS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal - Experimental, Translational and Clinical
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • MRI
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • OCT
  • neurodegeneration
  • primary progressive
  • visual damage


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