The effects of high-dose methylprednisolone on gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and cerebrospinal fluid measurements in multiple sclerosis.

Journal of neuroimmunology

PubMedID: 1430156

Frequin ST, Barkhof F, Lamers KJ, Hommes OR. The effects of high-dose methylprednisolone on gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and cerebrospinal fluid measurements in multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol. 1992;40(2-3):265-72.
Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption is probably the first event in the lesion development in multiple sclerosis (MS). This stage can be visualized by gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the brain. Serial MR imaging studies have indicated a continuous spectrum of disease activity with waxing and waning of acute lesions, even in clinically stable MS patients. High-dose intravenous methylprednisolone (MP) has a beneficial clinical effect; reduces gadolinium enhancement, indicating improvement of BBB integrity; and, in MS patients, decreases intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis with reduction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) myelin basic protein (MBP). A correlative triad is noted between gadolinium enhancement, clinical improvement, and decrease of CSF MBP following MP treatment, indicating a relationship between restoration of BBB integrity, clinical improvement and decrease of myelin breakdown. It is not clear whether MP interferes primarily with the process of demyelination or reacts non-specifically with its mediators.