Beta interferons in clinically isolated syndromes - A meta-analysis

Division of Neurology and Epidemiology, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brazil.
Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria (Impact Factor: 0.84). 04/2008; 66(1):8-10. DOI: 10.1590/S0004-282X2008000100003
Source: PubMed


Beta-interferon use in definite multiple sclerosis (MS) has been proven to modify clinical and magnetic resonance imaging outcome. We review and summarize the data of published double-blind, randomized clinical trials to assess, with a meta-analysis the safety and efficacy of beta-interferon on the occurrence of relapses in patients with a first clinical event suggestive of MS. After two years of follow-up, interferon beta decreased the risk of conversion to clinically definite MS 0.51[0.39-0.65], and delayed the time to diagnosis up to 367 days. Side-effects were mild and self limited. Our findings support the efficacy of early treatment with beta-interferon in reducing conversion to clinically defined MS in patients with clinically isolated syndromes.

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    • "In all of them, the episode was treated with high methylprednisolone doses, and the trials evaluated the risk of subsequent conversion to clinically definite MS, that is, the occurrence of a second acute episode, which was the primary endpoint in all studies. These studies represent evidence level 1 (recommendation grade A) and all showed that the administration of immunomodulating agents during CIS reduces the risk of a second demyelinating episode, without significant differences noted among the different types of immunomodulating agents [Clerico et al. 2008; Melo et al. 2008]. The criteria for treating CIS with disease-modifying agents are based on the identification of those patients at high risk of developing MS. "
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