Choroid Plexus Volume in Multiple Sclerosis vs Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder: A Retrospective, Cross-sectional Analysis

Background and Objectives

The choroid plexus has been shown to play a crucial role in CNS inflammation. Previous studies found larger choroid plexus in multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with healthy controls. However, it is not clear whether the choroid plexus is similarly involved in MS and in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the choroid plexus volume in MS and NMOSD.

Methods

In this retrospective, cross-sectional study, patients were included by convenience sampling from 4 international MS centers. The choroid plexus of the lateral ventricles was segmented fully automatically on T1-weighted MRI sequences using a deep learning algorithm (Multi-Dimensional Gated Recurrent Units). Uni- and multivariable linear models were applied to investigate associations between the choroid plexus volume, clinically meaningful disease characteristics, and MRI parameters.

Results

We studied 180 patients with MS and 98 patients with NMOSD. In total, 94 healthy individuals and 47 patients with migraine served as controls. The choroid plexus volume was larger in MS (median 1,690 µL, interquartile range [IQR] 648 µL) than in NMOSD (median 1,403 µL, IQR 510 µL), healthy individuals (median 1,533 µL, IQR 570 µL), and patients with migraine (median 1,404 µL, IQR 524 µL; all p < 0.001), whereas there was no difference between NMOSD, migraine, and healthy controls. This was also true when adjusted for age, sex, and the intracranial volume. In contrast to NMOSD, the choroid plexus volume in MS was associated with the number of T2-weighted lesions in a linear model adjusted for age, sex, total intracranial volume, disease duration, relapses in the year before MRI, disease course, Expanded Disability Status Scale score, disease-modifying treatment, and treatment duration (beta 4.4; 95% CI 0.78–8.1; p = 0.018).

Discussion

This study supports an involvement of the choroid plexus in MS in contrast to NMOSD and provides clues to better understand the respective pathogenesis.

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