People with myelitis who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a later time share some factors in common that might help doctors diagnosis multiple sclerosis at an earlier stage.
Researchers reported that patients with myelitis who later develop multiple sclerosis (MS) might be distinguished from others with myelitis by a number of characteristics, like the location and size of spinal cord lesions, a finding that might help clinicians diagnose MS and initiate treatment at an early stage.
Myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord leading to demyelination of neurons, appears as a manifestation of a variety of conditions, such as demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system, systemic inflammatory disease, and infectious disease.
MS is one of the main causes of central nervous system demyelination. Patients are sometimes first diagnosed with myelitis without any apparent cause, only to receive an MS diagnosis at later stages. Since MS treatment aims to prevent progression, it is crucial to initiate treatment as soon as possible.
A research team from the Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol,Barcelona, Spain, sought to investigate if there are distinct characteristics in patients presenting with the condition who are later diagnosed with MS, compared to those who will not go on to develop the disease.
The study, “Myelitis: Differences between multiple sclerosis and other aetiologies,“ was published in the journal Neurología.
Researchers analyzed data on 91 patients who received care because of an initial myelitis episode. Data were available through the iMed database, a storage system of MS patient data. Patients in the analysis were followed for an average of seven years.