ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

The Effect of Pulse Methylprednisolone Plus Theophylline Treatment on Clinical, Pulmonary and Inflammatory Markers in Relapses of Multiple Sclerosis
Pervin İşeri 1, Çiğdem Özerdem 1, Hüsnü Efendi 1, İlknur Başyiğit 2, Füsun Yıldız 2, Hüseyin Başyiğit 3
1Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey
2Department of Chest Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey
3Hospital Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey
DOI : 10.5152/balkanmedj.2013.004
Pages : 33-36


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether there was a relationship between severity of multiple sclerosis (MS) exacerbation and pulmonary function test (PFT) and to determine the effect of theophylline, which was added to intravenous methylprednisolone, on serum Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-alpha levels and clinical scores in MS relapses.

Study Design: Double blind randomized controlled trial.

Material and Methods: The baseline Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was determined, PFT was performed and blood was taken for analysis of TNF- alpha in patients with MS exacerbation. Patients were randomly divided into two groups; group 1 received intravenous methylprednisolone+IV theophylline and group 2 intravenous methylprednisolone+placebo for 5 days. PFT and EDSS score were repeated and blood was taken for TNF-alpha on the 5th and 30th days of the treatment.

Results: Twenty-four patients (14 female, 10 male) were included in the study. Mean age was 32.6±9, duration of disease was 5.4±4.2 years, number of exacerbations was 5±2. There was a significant correlation between the number of exacerbations and EDSS score (p=0.000, r=1). Restrictive PFT findings were detected in 8 and decrease in carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO) in 3 cases. In within-group analysis, EDSS score was found to be decreased on day 5 and still low on day 30 in the theophylline group (baseline 3±1.3; 5th day 2.4±1.6; 30th day 2±1.7). There was no statistically significant difference in the EDSS score of the placebo group (3±1.6; 2.8±1.7; 2.4±1.9 respectively). While serum TNF-alpha level was not changed in the placebo group, there was a non-significant decrease on day 5 and increase on day 30 in the theophylline group. There was no correlation between the clinical parameters, PFT and TNF-alpha level.

Conclusion: There was no correlation between severity of MS and PFT findings. It is suggested that theophylline might be effective in MS exacerbations since it caused decreases in clinical scores; studies with longer treatment duration are needed to clarify its possible anti-inflammatory effect.

Keywords : Multiple sclerosis, inflammation, theophylline, TNF-alpha

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