Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most prevalent disease caused by the inflammatory demyelinating process that causes progressive nervous system degeneration over the time. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive optical imaging technology, which can measure the thickness of retinal nerve fiber layer as well as the diameter of the macula. The purpose of the study is evaluation OCT findings in two common types of multiple sclerosis.
For doing the cross-sectional study, 63 patients with two prevalent types of multiple sclerosis (35 patients with Relapse Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) and 28 patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) were evaluated for 6 months. Exclusion criteria of the study were a history of optic neuritis, suffering from diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ocular disease, and the presence of other neurologic degenerative diseases.
Then, the thickness of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), as well as thickness and volume of the macula, were measured in the patients using OCT technology. The disability rate of patients was evaluated according to Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Finally, data was analyzed by means of SPSS software.
Overall, 35 patients with RRMS (with mean age of 32.37+10.01, average disease period of 3.81+3.42 and mean EDSS of 1.84+0.45) and 28 patients with SPMS (with mean age of 39.21+9.33, average disease period of 11.32+5.87 and mean EDSS of 5.12+1.46) were assessed and compared in terms of retinal nerve fiber layer and size and thickness of macula. In all of these sections, the thicknesses were smaller in SPMS patients than patients with RRMS.
But, there was a significant difference in total thickness (81.82µm versus 96.03µm with P=0.04) and thickness of temporal sector (54.5 µm versus 69.34 µm with P=0.04) of retinal nerve fiber layer and macular size at the superior sector of external ring (1.48 mm³ versus 1.58 mm³ with P=0.03), and nasal sector of external ring surrounding macula (1.53 mm³ versus 1.66 mm³ with P=0.03).
No significant correlation was found among rising disability and reduced thickness of macula and optic nervous layer. Based on the study results, it can be said that OCT is a useful method for showing axonal degeneration severity and evaluation of various drugs effects on the course of MS disease, and thus we can change drugs based on OCT findings for achieving best results.