Publications & Posters

Neurofilament Light Levels are Associated with Long-term Outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis


Kuhle J, Plavina T, Barro C, Disanto G, Sangurdekar D, Singh CM, de Moor C, Engle B, Kieseier BC, Fisher E, Kappos L, Rudick RA and Goyal J.

Mult Scler. 2019 Nov 4:1352458519885613. 

doi: 10.1177/1352458519885613.

This study was peformed using a Simoa® Homebrew assay.



Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a promising marker of disease activity/treatment response in multiple sclerosis (MS), although its predictive value for long-term clinical outcomes remains unclear.


We measured NfL from a phase 3 trial in relapsing-remitting MS and investigated its association with outcomes after 8 and 15 years.


NfL concentrations were measured by single molecule array assay in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from MS patients (n = 235) in a 2-year randomized clinical trial (RCT) of intramuscular interferon β-1a, and in serum (n = 164) from the extension study.


Year 2 CSF and Year 3 serum NfL were associated with brain parenchymal fraction (BPF) change over 8 years (p < 0.0001, r = -0.46; p < 0.05. r = -0.36, respectively) and were predictive of reaching Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) ⩾ 6.0 at Year 8 (odds ratio (OR) (upper vs lower tertile) = 3.4; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.2-9.9, p < 0.05; OR = 11.0, 95% CI = 2.0-114.6; p < 0.01, respectively). Serum NfL concentration (Year 4) was predictive of reaching EDSS score ⩾6.0 at 15 years (OR (upper vs lower tertile) = 4.9; 95% CI = 1.4-20.4; p < 0.05). NfL concentrations were complementary to 2-year BPF change in predicting long-term outcomes.


Serum and CSF NfL concentrations were associated with long-term clinical outcomes in MS patients and are promising biomarkers for disease severity stratification supporting treatment decisions.