New publication from IMSVISUAL members – OCT in MOG

Pache & Zimmermann et al. just published a study investigating afferent visual system damage after optic neuritis in MOG-IgG-seropositive versus AQP4-IgG-seropositive patients. MOG-antibodies have recently been identified in a subgroup of patients with neuromyelitis optica and in patients with recurrent optic neuritis.

The paper has been published in Journal of Neuroinflammation 2016 13:282.

The study is part of a series of 4 papers describing different aspects of MOG-IgG in NMO and related disorders.

Part 1: Frequency, syndrome specificity, influence of disease activity, long-term course, association with AQP4-IgG, and origin
Part 2: Epidemiology, clinical presentation, radiological and laboratory features, treatment responses, and long-term outcome
Part 3: Brainstem involvement – frequency, presentation and outcome
Part 4: Afferent visual system damage after optic neuritis in MOG-IgG-seropositive versus AQP4-IgG-seropositive patients

Thank you for joining our ECTRIMS 2016 meeting

Dear attendees,

on behalf of IMSVISUAL I want to thank you all for joining our meeting!

Many scientific talks were fascinating and - at least for me - a highlight of the conference. I was especially intrigued by the substantial in-depth discussions, which followed every talk, a format/chance I haven't seen in years.

Please find below the presenters' slide decks as much as we can publish them. Many decks contained unpublished data, which needed to be removed. I will update the links as the slides become available from the speakers.


Alexander Brandt

Slides and Documents

  1. Brian FernandezHeidelberg Engineering
  2. Chis ModyOCTA
  3. Ari Green - Clemastine study
  4. Raj Kapoor - Visual Outcomes in the Phenytoin Trial
  5. Kathryn Fitzgerald - The GWAS x Retinal Degeneration Study
  6. Elena H. Martínez-Lapiscina - IMSVISUAL Project Proposal: AON natural history study
  7. Alexander Brandt - Retinal pathology in antibody mediated diseases (the slides contained data from 3 studies, two of which are unpublished as of now. Download links will be updated as studies become published. NMDA Study, MOG Study (in press), NMOSD Study (in preparation)

New publication from IMSVISUAL members – OCT in NMOSD

Elena Martinez-Lapiscina and colleagues from Barcelona published a paper on the Usefulness of optical coherence tomography to distinguish optic neuritis associated with AQP4 or MOG in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.

The paper has just been published in Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2016 Sep; 9(5): 436–440.

It is available online on PubMed Central:

Figure 1 from Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2016 Sep; 9(5): 436–440.

Invitation for Evening Symposium at ECTRIMS

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to invite you to our semi-annual IMSVISUAL symposium to discuss updates on vision research in multiple sclerosis. This year at ECTRIMS we are fortunate to have secured Heidelberg engineering as our sponsor. The event will take place on Friday September 16th from 5-8 PM in the Excel Centre. There will be food and beverages.
Space is limited to 48 so we kindly ask that you register using the link below only if you plan to attend.

I think this will be an exciting meeting with presentations from several groups representing existing IMSVISUAL member sites from around the world. There should be ample time for discussion and establishing future collaborations.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Peter Calabresi, Friedemann Paul, Laura Balcer and Pablo Villoslada (board of directors)
Alex Brandt, Rachel Nolan, Elena Hernandez-Martinez and Shiv Saidha (working group committee)

IMSVISUAL’s APOSTEL recommendations have been published in Neurology

We are pleased to announce another IMSVISUAL publication by Cruz-Herrandez & Balk et al.

OBJECTIVE: To develop consensus recommendations for reporting of quantitative optical coherence tomography (OCT) study results.
METHODS: A panel of experienced OCT researchers (including 11 neurologists, 2 ophthalmologists, and 2 neuroscientists) discussed requirements for performing and reporting quantitative analyses of retinal morphology and developed a list of initial recommendations based on experience and previous studies. The list of recommendations was subsequently revised during several meetings of the coordinating group.
RESULTS: We provide a 9-point checklist encompassing aspects deemed relevant when reporting quantitative OCT studies. The areas covered are study protocol, acquisition device, acquisition settings, scanning protocol, funduscopic imaging, postacquisition data selection, postacquisition data analysis, recommended nomenclature, and statistical analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The Advised Protocol for OCT Study Terminology and Elements recommendations include core items to standardize and improve quality of reporting in quantitative OCT studies. The recommendations will make reporting of quantitative OCT studies more consistent and in line with existing standards for reporting research in other biomedical areas. The recommendations originated from expert consensus and thus represent Class IV evidence. They will need to be regularly adjusted according to new insights and practices.

© 2016 American Academy of Neurology.

Find out more on the publisher's website or our publications page. The paper is also available under open access at PubMed Central.

Meeting in Vancouver at AAN 2016

IMSVISUAL will meet at the AAN 2016 in Vancouver.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Prince of Wales Room - Hyatt Regency Vancouver
655 Burrard Street, Vancouver, V6C 2R7 (map below)


  1. Welcome
  2. Mission statement
  3. Review of infrastructure and personnel, member sites
  4. Website and survey results
  5. Project review committee and call for proposals plan
  6. Subcommittees: (Clinical Use, Pediatrics, MS & Related Disorders, Electrophysiology, MRI, Genetics)
  7. Initial papers in press
  8. Open discussion
  9. Adjournment

Please contact with any questions.

New IMSVISUAL publication in Lancet Neurology

We are pleased to announce an IMSVISUAL publication by Martinez-Lapiszina et al.


Most patients with multiple sclerosis without previous optic neuritis have thinner retinal layers than healthy controls. We assessed the role of peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (pRNFL) thickness and macular volume in eyes with no history of optic neuritis as a biomarker of disability worsening in a cohort of patients with multiple sclerosis who had at least one eye without optic neuritis available.

In this multicentre, cohort study, we collected data about patients (age ≥16 years old) with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, and progressive multiple sclerosis. Patients were recruited from centres in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Canada, and the USA, with the first cohort starting in 2008 and the latest cohort starting in 2013. We assessed disability worsening using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). The pRNFL thickness and macular volume were assessed once at study entry (baseline) by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and was calculated as the mean value of both eyes without optic neuritis for patients without a history of optic neuritis or the value of the non-optic neuritis eye for patients with previous unilateral optic neuritis. Researchers who did the OCT at baseline were masked to EDSS results and the researchers assessing disability with EDSS were masked to OCT results. We estimated the association of pRNFL thickness or macular volume at baseline in eyes without optic neuritis with the risk of subsequent disability worsening by use of proportional hazards models that included OCT metrics and age, disease duration, disability, presence of previous unilateral optic neuritis, and use of disease-modifying therapies as covariates.

879 patients with clinically isolated syndrome (n=74), relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (n=664), or progressive multiple sclerosis (n=141) were included in the primary analyses. Disability worsening occurred in 252 (29%) of 879 patients with multiple sclerosis after a median follow-up of 2·0 years (range 0·5-5 years). Patients with a pRNFL of less than or equal to 87 μm or less than or equal to 88 μm (measured with Spectralis or Cirrus OCT devices) had double the risk of disability worsening at any time after the first and up to the third years of follow-up (hazard ratio 2·06, 95% CI 1·36-3·11; p=0·001), and the risk was increased by nearly four times after the third and up to the fifth years of follow-up (3·81, 1·63-8·91; p=0·002). We did not identify meaningful associations for macular volume.

Our results provide evidence of the usefulness of monitoring pRNFL thickness by OCT for prediction of the risk of disability worsening with time in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Find out more on the publisher's website or on our publications page.

Meeting in Barcelona at ECTRIMS 2015

The IMSVISUAL consortium invites you to our meeting at ECTRIMS 2015 in Barcelona.

Friday October 9th from 12 to 2pm

University Pompeu Fabra
Room: 55.410 (Department of Information and Communication)
Tanger, 122-140


  1. Welcome and summary by directors
  2. Membership, organization
  3. Grants and funding
  4. Database, data-sharing and authorship policy
  5. Ongoing projects
  6. New projects (segmentation)
  7. Papers (meta-analysis, APOSTEL)
  8. Next meeting: AAN 2016

The building is on the side of the well-known Agbar Tower. Tram T4 is stopping in the convention center and stops almost in front of this building. It takes only 10 min.

Invitation and Agenda as PDF

EAN 2015 Satellite Symposium in Berlin

The retina as an interface between neurology and ophthalmology

Time: Friday, June 19th 2015

Location: Friedrich-Kopsch-Hörsaal, Waldeyer-Haus, Institute of Anatomy, Charité Campus Mitte

Session 1: Clinical relevance of visual system examination in neurology

14:50 – 15:00: Welcome
Friedemann Paul (Berlin, DE) & Alexander U. Brandt (Berlin, DE)
Alexander U. Brandt (Berlin, DE) & Pablo Villoslada (Barcelona, ES)

15:00 – 15:30 Key Note: The Afferent Visual Pathway: Defining Structural-Functional Correlations in Central Nervous System Disorders
Fiona Costello (Calgary, CA)

15:30 – 15:45 Clinical neurophysiology of the visual system in multiple sclerosis
Letizia Leocani (Milano, IT)

15:45 – 16:00 Erythropoietin treatment in Optic Neuritis – the TONE trial
Wolf Lagrèze (Freiburg, DE)

16:00 – 16:15 To OCT or not to OCT – is optical coherence tomography ready for routine application in multiple sclerosis?
Axel Petzold (Amsterdam, NL)

16:15 – 16:30 Break
Coffee and Snacks

Session 2: Current research in retinal imaging in multiple sclerosis

Wolf Lagrèze (Freiburg, DE) & Friedemann Paul (Berlin, Germany)

16:30 – 17:00 Key Note: The Role of the Visual System in Monitoring Neurodegeneration: Lessons from the MS Model
Peter Calabresi (Baltimore, US)

17:00 – 17:15 Defining disease heterogeneity in multiple sclerosis with the help of OCT and MRI
Sven Schippling (Zürich, CH)

17:15 – 17:30 Implementing Visual Outcomes in Clinical Trials
Alexander U. Brandt (Berlin, DE)

17:30 – 17:45 Next Generation Retinal Imaging
Ari Green (San Francisco, US)

17:45 – 18:00: Farewell
Friedemann Paul (Berlin, DE) & Alexander U. Brandt (Berlin, DE)


Flyer EAN 2015 Satellite Symposium