A Predictive Model for Corticosteroid Response in Individual Patients with MS Relapses

Martin Rakusa, Stefan Cano, Bernie Porter, Afsane Riazi, Thompson Alan, Jeremy Chataway, Todd Hardy

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To derive a simple predictive model to guide the use of corticosteroids in patients with relapsing remitting MS suffering an acute relapse.

Materials and Methods

We analysed individual patient randomised controlled trial data (n=98) using a binary logistic regression model based on age, gender, baseline disability scores [physician-observed: expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and patient reported: multiple sclerosis impact scale 29 (MSIS-29)], and the time intervals between symptom onset or referral and treatment.


Based on two a priori selected cut-off points (improvement in EDSS ≥ 0.5 and ≥ 1.0), we found that variables which predicted better response to corticosteroids after 6 weeks were younger age and lower MSIS-29 physical score at the time of relapse (model fit 71.2% - 73.1%).


This pilot study suggests two clinical variables which may predict the majority of the response to corticosteroid treatment in patients undergoing an MS relapse. The study is limited in being able to clearly distinguish factors associated with treatment response or spontaneous recovery and needs to be replicated in a larger prospective study.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0120829
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Early online date18 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2015

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