BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The effect of comorbidities on disease severity in MS has not been extensively characterized. We determined the association of comorbidities with MR imaging disease severity outcomes in MS. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Demographic and clinical history of 9 autoimmune comorbidities confirmed by retrospective chart review and quantitative MR imaging data were obtained in 815 patients with MS. The patients were categorized on the basis of the presence/ absence of total and specific comorbidities. We analyzed the MR imaging findings, adjusting for key covariates and correcting for multiple comparisons. RESULTS: Two hundred forty-one (29.6%) study subjects presented with comorbidities. Thyroid disease had the highest frequency (n = 97, 11.9%), followed by asthma (n = 41, 5%), type 2 diabetes mellitus (n = 40, 4.9%), psoriasis (n = 33, 4%), and rheumatoid arthritis (n = 22, 2.7%). Patients with MS with comorbidities showed decreased whole-brain and cortical volumes (P < .001), gray matter volume and magnetization transfer ratio of normal-appearing brain tissue (P<.01), and magnetization transfer ratio of gray matter (P<.05). Psoriasis, thyroid disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus comorbidities were associated with decreased whole-brain, cortical, and gray matter volumes (P < .05). Psoriasis was associated with a decreased magnetization transfer ratio of normal-appearing brain tissue (P < .05), while type 2 diabetes mellitus was associated with increased mean diffusivity (P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: The presence of comorbidities in patients with MS is associated with brain injury on MR imaging. Psoriasis, thyroid disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus comorbidities were associated with more severe nonconventional MR imaging outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology