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Multiple Sclerosis De Novo CNS IgG Synthesis:  Effect of CNS Irradiation

Wallace W. Tourtellotte, MD, PhD; Alfred R. Potvin, PhD; Robert W. Baumhefner, MD; Janet H. Potvin, PhD; Booe I. Ma, PhD; Karl Syndulko, PhD; Zbigniew Petrovich, MD
Arch Neurol. 1980;37(10):620-624. doi:10.1001/archneur.1980.00500590044005.
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• Megavoltage CNS irradiation was given to 20 patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS) to determine if de novo CNS IgG synthesis could be eradicated. In all five patients given 1,200 rads, a transient reduction in the de novo CNS IgG synthesis rate was noted. In ten patients given 1,800 rads, the following occurred: a reduction in synthesis rate in three patients, a reduction followed by enhancement in two, only enhancement in four, and no change in one. In all five additional patients, a therapy of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) followed by prednisone in combination with 1,800 rads produced greater and more persistent decreases in CNS IgG synthesis, but did not block the enhancement effect. Only two of 19 patients who had abnormal CNS IgG synthesis rates had reductions to normal; no patients showed changes in the number or pattern CSF IgG oligoclones. Hence, no treatment eradicated de novo CNS IgG synthesis. A persistent decrease in CSF leukocytes occurred in all 20 patients due to the reduction of small lymphocytes (not dose related). The blood-brain-barrier to albumin concentration was transiently damaged in 11 of 15 patients given irradiation, but when patients were premedicated with ACTH/ prednisone therapy, no damage was found. None of the patients demonstrated neurological improvement, change in the activity of their disease, or persistent adverse effects.


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