• Vitaliy Vasylovskyy State institution "Institute of Neurology, Psychiatrist and Narcology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine"
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, secondary-progressive course, pulse-therapy with glucocorticoids, treatment effectiveness


We have investigated the efficacy of pulse-therapy with glucocorticoids (GC) at different time stages (in debuts, at the recurrent stage and at the stage of progression) of secondary progressive course (SPC) of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 70 patients (57 women and 13 men) at the ages from 28 to 67 years (mean age 45±2.5 years). The duration of the disease accounted for 7 up to 34 years (average duration was 19.8±2.3 years). We have conducted 438 courses of GC therapy: at the onsets – 11, at the recurrent stage (RS) – 178 and at the stage of secondary progression-249.

The efficacy of hormonal therapy was assessed taking into account the following criteria: the dynamics of regression of neurological symptoms under the influence of the first course of GC therapy at the stage of onsets; a comparative evaluation of remission’s duration after admission and without taking GC at the onsets; duration of RS depending on the duration of remissions after the first course of GC therapy; a comparative evaluation of remissions’ duration after the 1st (at the stage of onset and/or on the RS), and the period of stabilization on the SPS before the last courses of GC; the variants of secondary progression under the influence of GC courses; scores according the EDSS disability scale after the 1st and before the last course of GC therapy; the rate of progression under the influence of the repeated courses of GC therapy.

We have defined the three categories of efficacy at the repeated courses of pulse therapy with GC: the moderate efficacy, the low efficacy, the lack of efficacy. We have not observed the high efficacy in patients with SPC.

The patients with MFR <1.0, among which the pulse therapy with GC promoted the prolongation of RS, relieved the severe (less often) and moderate (more often) relapses, the outcome of which was accompanied by a moderate and stable neurologic deficit, were subsumed under the subgroup with moderate efficacy (21 individuals). The most favorable progressive variant of progression prevailed in these patients after transformation of RS into SPS.

The patients with different rate of MFR (9 – with MFR <1.0 and 12 – with MFR>1.0), with short (more often) and moderate (less often) RS, during which the accumulation of neurological deficit due to the frequent and heavy relapses had occurred, were subsumed under the subgroup with low efficiency (21 individuals). After transformation into SPS, the recurrent variant of progression prevailed in these patients.

The patients who were characterized by short RS, by predominance of severe and prolonged relapses, the MFR value greater than 1.0, the steady accumulation of a pronounced and persistent neurologic deficit, a high rate of progression and high scores on the EDSS disability scale more than 6.5 points) were subsumed under the subgroup with the lack of efficacy (28 individuals). After transformation in the SPC, the most unfavorable variant of progression prevailed (21 patients); significantly less frequent were the recurrent (5 patients) and a combination of a steady and recurrent (2 patients) progression. The persistent lack of efficacy of the hormonal therapy in this subgroup of patients was most likely associated with the genetically determined low individual sensitivity to GC.

Therefore, the results of our study showed that the efficacy of GC therapy in SPC of MS is determined by the complex interaction of clinical indicators having the prognostic value, as well as by the number of the genetic factors, which require their further observation.


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Author Biography

Vitaliy Vasylovskyy, State institution "Institute of Neurology, Psychiatrist and Narcology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine"

Department of Neuroinfection and Multiple Sclerosis


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