“The idea that patients with MS might be at an increased risk of relapse following surgery isn’t necessarily the case, so we need to be careful delaying important surgeries,” said study first author Dr. Lindsey De Lott. She is an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
So De Lott and her colleagues looked at 281 MS patients, aged 18 to 75, who underwent a total of 609 surgeries, and found no significant difference in the rates of relapse before and after surgery. The rates were 7.1% and 5.5% per patient per year, respectively.
The findings should help doctors and MS patients make decisions about surgery, according to the researchers.
“In the rare instance when we have encountered a person with MS who developed neurological symptoms after surgery, the symptoms could usually be explained by a fever or infection, yet the limited research previously done on this topic did not take these factors into account,” Braley said in a university news release.
De Lott pointed out that “a relapse, or flare, can present as any neurologic symptom. It can include weakness in an arm or leg, loss of sensation, vision loss, problems with walking or coordination … it spans the spectrum.”
— Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, July 2019