Publications & Posters

Potential markers for sample size estimations in hereditary spastic paraplegia type 5

Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases | September 19, 2021

Lin Q, Liu Y, Ye Z, Hu J, Cai W, Weng Q, Chen WJ, Wang N, Cao D, Lin Y and Fu Y

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2021;16:391

This study was performed using the Quanterix HD-1 Analyzer.



Aim to identify potential biomarkers to assess therapeutic efficacy for hereditary spastic paraplegias type 5 (SPG5) by investigating the clinical, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features.


We performed a cross-sectional study to compare SPG5 patients with age- and sex-matched healthy controls who underwent conventional and quantitative MRI techniques of spinal cord (C1-T9) and brain. SPG5 patients also underwent assessment for clinical status and CSF biomarkers (27-hydroxycholesterol, neurofilament light). We identified a set of markers with standardized effect sizes (|t|> 0.5) to estimate sample sizes for disease progression (disease duration > 14 years vs. ≤ 14 years).


Seventeen genetically confirmed SPG5 patients (11 men, 6 women; age range, 13–49 years; median disease duration, 14 years) were enrolled. Compared to healthy controls, the total spinal cord area (SCA) of SPG5 patients was reduced particularly at the thoracic levels (cervical levels: 12–27%; thoracic levels 41–60%). Patients did not show significant alterations of brain signal abnormalities or atrophy relative to controls. A total of 10 surrogate markers were selected and a minimum sample size was achieved with the measurement of SCA on T9 (n = 22) much less that what would be required if using clinical disability assessment (n = 124).


SPG5 patients showed distinct MRI features of spinal cord atrophy without significant brain alterations. Our finding supports the measurements of spinal cord on T9 level as potential endpoint for SPG5 clinical trials.