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Muscle Impairment in MRI Affect Variability in Treatment Response to Nusinersen in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 and 3: A Retrospective Cohort Study

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source: Brain & Development

year: 2022

authors: Yuko Shimizu-Motohashi, Emiko Chiba, Katsuhiro Mizuno, Hiroyuki Yajima, Akihiko Ishiyama, Eri Takeshita, Noriko Sato, Mari Oba, Masayuki Sasaki, Shuichi Ito, Hirofumi Komaki


Real-world data have shown variability in treatment responses to nusinersen in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We investigated whether the magnitude of muscle impairment assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at baseline can predict the treatment response.

We retrospectively assessed the clinical data in relevance to the thigh and pelvic MRI taken before the nusinersen treatment. A total of 16 patients with SMA types 2 and 3 (age = mean [SD]; 9.2 [4.6] year) receiving nusinersen treatment were enrolled. The T1-weighted MRI images of the pelvis and thigh were scored for muscle fatty infiltration and atrophy. The minimally clinically important difference (MCID) was considered as gaining at least 3 points of Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale-Expanded (HFMSE) from baseline.

Of these 16 individuals, 14 had been treated for at least 15 months with baseline data. At 15 months, seven individuals obtained MCID in HFMSE. Baseline muscle MRI score could not differentiate the two groups; however, individuals who obtained MCID had significantly less severe scoliosis. In addition, there was a significant and negative relationship between baseline MRI score and the change of score in HFMSE after 15 months of treatment. Further, baseline Cobb angle along with MRI score also indicated the correlation to the degree of change in motor function.

The degree of muscle damage may confer the variability in response to nusinersen in SMA types 2 and 3. Muscle MRI score along with the severity of scoliosis assessed at baseline may help to predict the motor function change.

organization: National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Japan; Tokyo Metropolitan Neurological Hospital, Japan; Yokohama City University, Japan

DOI: 10.1016/j.braindev.2022.11.002

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