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Relapsing MS and MRI Testing

Why are MRIs used in tracking relapsing MS?

Delaying physical disability may be the goal of MS treatment, but it’s still important to measure how MS affects brain tissue. Neurologists can look at changes in brain tissue using MRI scans. MRIs are non-invasive and do not use radiation.

The exact relationship between MRI findings and your overall health is not clear; however, MRIs are commonly used to help you and your doctor track MS activity in your body.

MRIs and brain lesions

MRIs produce different images based on how they're performed. In one type of scan, a substance called gadolinium is used to improve the image. The lesions that appear, Gd+ lesions, are considered new areas of active inflammation in the CNS. There's also a T2-weighted MRI that show the overall number of lesions (lesion load), which can include recent lesions as well as previous damage.

In two clinical studies, AVONEX showed an impact on brain lesions:

  • AVONEX users saw a 75% reduction, versus the beginning of the trial, in the average number of Gd+ lesions after 2 years of treatmenta
  • The overall T2 lesions of AVONEX users were 91% smaller versus placebo at 18 months

The exact relationship between MRI findings and the clinical status of MS patients is unknown. The prognostic significance of MRI findings in these studies has not been evaluated.


  1. Patients in the placebo group saw a 30% reduction from baseline in the number of Gd+ lesions after 2 years.
Indication

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for additional important safety information. This information is not intended to replace discussions with your healthcare provider.

 

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