Neurology, vol.51, no.3, pp.765-72, 1998 (SCI-Expanded)
Objective: To examine the natural history, survival, and prognostic factors in a sample of Turkish MS patients. Method: This multicenter study included 1,259 definite MS patients diagnosed according to the criteria of Poser et al. Actuarial analysis of selected disability levels of 3, 6, 8, and 10 achieved with the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS); a multivariate Cox regression analysis for prognostic factors related to time to reach EDSS greater than or equal to 6; and Pearson's correlation coefficient for individual factors were performed. Results: The survival (+/- SE) at 15 years from onset was 94.6 +/- 2.9%, and at 25 years was 89.0 +/- 5.8%. The disability reached by 15 years was EDSS greater than or equal to 3 in 66.4%, EDSS greater than or equal to 6 in 41.2%, EDSS greater than or equal to 8 in 10.5%, and EDSS = 10 in 5.4%. The most significant unfavorable prognostic factors were progressive course (relative risk [RR], 3.73; CI, 2.71 to 5.13) and sphincter symptoms at onset (RR, 1.86; CI, 1.23 to 2.82), followed by male sex, motor symptoms at onset, and a high attack frequency within the first 5 years. Primary progressive disease was correlated positively with male sex (r = 0.0895, p = 0.001), older age (I = 0.1807, p = 0.000), and motor (r = 0.1433, p = 0.000) or sphincter symptoms (r = 0.1001, p = 0.000) at onset, unlike relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive disease. Conclusions: Although a slightly better prognosis is observed in the Turkish MS population, early prognostic factors are similar to most of the previous Western series. Primary progressive disease, mostly seen in older men with motor and sphincter involvement at onset, has a worse prognosis and may represent a distinct behavioral variant of MS.