Publications & Posters

Serum neurofilament levels and patient-reported outcomes in multiple sclerosis

Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology | January 25, 2021

Galetta K, Deshpande C, Healy BC, Glanz B, Ziehn M, Saxena S, Paul A, Saleh F, Collins M, Gaitan-Walsh P, Castro-Mendoza P, Weiner HL and Chitnis T

Annals of clinical and translational neurology. 2021




Serum neurofilament light (sNfL) is a promising new biomarker in multiple sclerosis (MS). We explored the relationship between sNfL and health outcomes and resource use in MS patients.


MS patients with serum samples and health‐outcome measurements collected longitudinally between 2011 and 2016 were analyzed. sNfL values were evaluated across age and gender. Data were analyzed using correlation with log‐transformed sNfL values.


A total of 304 MS patients with a mean age of 32.9 years, average EDSS of 1.6 (SD = 1.5) and baseline sNfL of 8.8 (range 1.23–78.3) pg/mL were studied. Baseline sNFL values increased with age and were higher in females. Baseline sNfL correlated with baseline Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life physical composite (mean = 49.4 (9.1), P = 0.035) and baseline EDSS (P = 0.002). Other PRO measures at baseline did not show a significant relationship with baseline sNfL. Average of baseline and follow‐up sNfL correlated with MSQoL physical‐role limitations (mean = 48.9 (10.8), P = 0.043) and social‐functioning (mean = 52.3 (7), P = 0.034) at 24‐month follow‐up. We found a trend for numerically higher sNfL levels in nonpersistent patients compared to those who were persistent to treatment (11.13 vs. 8.53 pg/mL, P = 0.093) measured as average of baseline and 24‐month values. Baseline NfL was associated with number of intravenous steroid infusions (mean = 0.2; SD = 3.0, P = 0.013), whereas the average of baseline and 12 months NfL values related to inpatient stays at 12 months (mean = 0.2; SD = 3.0 P = 0.053).


Serum NfL is a patient‐centric biomarker that correlated with MS patient health‐outcomes and healthcare utilization measures in a real‐world cohort.