Spinal cord and brain corticospinal tract lesions are associated with motor progression in tumefactive multiple sclerosis

Caitlin S. Jackson-Tarlton, B. Mark Keegan, Mahboubeh Fereidan-Esfahani, Benan O. Barakat, Paul A. Decker, Claudia F. Lucchinetti, Jeanette Eckel-Passow, W. Oliver Tobin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Spinal cord lesions have been associated with progressive disease in individuals with typical relapsing remitting MS (RRMS). Objective: In the current study, we aimed to determine if progressive disease is associated with spinal cord lesions in those with tumefactive multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: Retrospective chart review of individuals presenting to Mayo Clinic with tumefactive MS with spinal cord MRIs available (n=159). Clinical data were extracted by chart review. Brain and spinal cord MRIs were reviewed to characterize the tumefactive demyelinating lesion(s) and assess the burden of spinal cord disease. Results: A total of 69 (43%) had spinal cord lesions. Progressive demyelinating disease was documented in 13 (8%); the majority (11/13) with secondary progressive disease. The method of progression was myelopathic in 8/13 (62%), cognitive in 3/13 (23%), motor from a supratentorial lesion in 2/13 (16%). EDSS at last follow-up was higher in those with progression than those without (median 6.0 (2.0-10.0) vs. 2.5 (0-10.0), p = < 0.001). Progressive demyelinating disease occurred in a minority. Conclusions: Patients with progression typically experienced progressive motor impairment, and this occurred exclusively in individuals with lesions in the corticospinal tracts of the brain and/or the spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104614
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Cortical spinal tract lesions
  • Encephalopathy
  • Progressive demyelination
  • Retrospective chart review
  • Tumefactive multiple sclerosis (TMS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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