Publications by authors named "Youssef Sidhom"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Determinants of therapeutic lag in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2021 Jan 11:1352458520981300. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

CORe, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/Melbourne MS Centre, Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Background: A delayed onset of treatment effect, termed therapeutic lag, may influence the assessment of treatment response in some patient subgroups.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to explore the associations of patient and disease characteristics with therapeutic lag on relapses and disability accumulation.

Methods: Data from MSBase, a multinational multiple sclerosis (MS) registry, and OFSEP, the French MS registry, were used. Patients diagnosed with MS, minimum 1 year of exposure to MS treatment and 3 years of pre-treatment follow-up, were included in the analysis. Studied outcomes were incidence of relapses and disability accumulation. Therapeutic lag was calculated using an objective, validated method in subgroups stratified by patient and disease characteristics. Therapeutic lag under specific circumstances was then estimated in subgroups defined by combinations of clinical and demographic determinants.

Results: High baseline disability scores, annualised relapse rate (ARR) ⩾ 1 and male sex were associated with longer therapeutic lag on disability progression in sufficiently populated groups: females with expanded disability status scale (EDSS) < 6 and ARR < 1 had mean lag of 26.6 weeks (95% CI = 18.2-34.9), males with EDSS < 6 and ARR < 1 31.0 weeks (95% CI = 25.3-36.8), females with EDSS < 6 and ARR ⩾ 1 44.8 weeks (95% CI = 24.5-65.1), and females with EDSS ⩾ 6 and ARR < 1 54.3 weeks (95% CI = 47.2-61.5).

Conclusions: Pre-treatment EDSS and ARR are the most important determinants of therapeutic lag.
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January 2021

Delay from treatment start to full effect of immunotherapies for multiple sclerosis.

Brain 2020 09;143(9):2742-2756

CORe, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3050, Australia.

In multiple sclerosis, treatment start or switch is prompted by evidence of disease activity. Whilst immunomodulatory therapies reduce disease activity, the time required to attain maximal effect is unclear. In this study we aimed to develop a method that allows identification of the time to manifest fully and clinically the effect of multiple sclerosis treatments ('therapeutic lag') on clinical disease activity represented by relapses and progression-of-disability events. Data from two multiple sclerosis registries, MSBase (multinational) and OFSEP (French), were used. Patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, minimum 1-year exposure to treatment, minimum 3-year pretreatment follow-up and yearly review were included in the analysis. For analysis of disability progression, all events in the subsequent 5-year period were included. Density curves, representing incidence of relapses and 6-month confirmed progression events, were separately constructed for each sufficiently represented therapy. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to identify the first local minimum of the first derivative after treatment start; this point represented the point of stabilization of treatment effect, after the maximum treatment effect was observed. The method was developed in a discovery cohort (MSBase), and externally validated in a separate, non-overlapping cohort (OFSEP). A merged MSBase-OFSEP cohort was used for all subsequent analyses. Annualized relapse rates were compared in the time before treatment start and after the stabilization of treatment effect following commencement of each therapy. We identified 11 180 eligible treatment epochs for analysis of relapses and 4088 treatment epochs for disability progression. External validation was performed in four therapies, with no significant difference in the bootstrapped mean differences in therapeutic lag duration between registries. The duration of therapeutic lag for relapses was calculated for 10 therapies and ranged between 12 and 30 weeks. The duration of therapeutic lag for disability progression was calculated for seven therapies and ranged between 30 and 70 weeks. Significant differences in the pre- versus post-treatment annualized relapse rate were present for all therapies apart from intramuscular interferon beta-1a. In conclusion we have developed, and externally validated, a method to objectively quantify the duration of therapeutic lag on relapses and disability progression in different therapies in patients more than 3 years from multiple sclerosis onset. Objectively defined periods of expected therapeutic lag allows insights into the evaluation of treatment response in randomized clinical trials and may guide clinical decision-making in patients who experience early on-treatment disease activity. This method will subsequently be applied in studies that evaluate the effect of patient and disease characteristics on therapeutic lag.
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September 2020

Disability outcomes of early cerebellar and brainstem symptoms in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2020 Jun 15:1352458520926955. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

CORe, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Neurology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Background: Cerebellar and brainstem symptoms are common in early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS) yet their prognostic values remain unclear.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate long-term disability outcomes in patients with early cerebellar and brainstem symptoms.

Methods: This study used data from MSBase registry. Patients with early cerebellar/brainstem presentations were identified as those with cerebellar/brainstem relapse(s) or functional system score ⩾ 2 in the initial 2 years. Early pyramidal presentation was chosen as a comparator. Andersen-Gill models were used to compare cumulative hazards of (1) disability progression events and (2) relapses between patients with and without early cerebellar/brainstem symptoms. Mixed effect models were used to estimate the associations between early cerebellar/brainstem presentations and expanded disability status scale (EDSS) scores.

Results: The study cohort consisted of 10,513 eligible patients, including 2723 and 3915 patients with early cerebellar and brainstem symptoms, respectively. Early cerebellar presentation was associated with greater hazard of progression events (HR = 1.37,  < 0.001) and EDSS (β = 0.16,  < 0.001). Patients with early brainstem symptoms had lower hazard of progression events (HR = 0.89,  = 0.01) and EDSS (β = -0.06,  < 0.001). Neither presentation was associated with changes in relapse risk.

Conclusion: Early cerebellar presentation is associated with unfavourable outcomes, while early brainstem presentation is associated with favourable prognosis. These presentations may be used as MS prognostic markers and guide therapeutic approach.
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June 2020

Early clinical markers of aggressive multiple sclerosis.

Brain 2020 05;143(5):1400-1413

CORe Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Patients with the 'aggressive' form of multiple sclerosis accrue disability at an accelerated rate, typically reaching Expanded Disability Status Score (EDSS) ≥ 6 within 10 years of symptom onset. Several clinicodemographic factors have been associated with aggressive multiple sclerosis, but less research has focused on clinical markers that are present in the first year of disease. The development of early predictive models of aggressive multiple sclerosis is essential to optimize treatment in this multiple sclerosis subtype. We evaluated whether patients who will develop aggressive multiple sclerosis can be identified based on early clinical markers. We then replicated this analysis in an independent cohort. Patient data were obtained from the MSBase observational study. Inclusion criteria were (i) first recorded disability score (EDSS) within 12 months of symptom onset; (ii) at least two recorded EDSS scores; and (iii) at least 10 years of observation time, based on time of last recorded EDSS score. Patients were classified as having 'aggressive multiple sclerosis' if all of the following criteria were met: (i) EDSS ≥ 6 reached within 10 years of symptom onset; (ii) EDSS ≥ 6 confirmed and sustained over ≥6 months; and (iii) EDSS ≥ 6 sustained until the end of follow-up. Clinical predictors included patient variables (sex, age at onset, baseline EDSS, disease duration at first visit) and recorded relapses in the first 12 months since disease onset (count, pyramidal signs, bowel-bladder symptoms, cerebellar signs, incomplete relapse recovery, steroid administration, hospitalization). Predictors were evaluated using Bayesian model averaging. Independent validation was performed using data from the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Registry. Of the 2403 patients identified, 145 were classified as having aggressive multiple sclerosis (6%). Bayesian model averaging identified three statistical predictors: age > 35 at symptom onset, EDSS ≥ 3 in the first year, and the presence of pyramidal signs in the first year. This model significantly predicted aggressive multiple sclerosis [area under the curve (AUC) = 0.80, 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 0.75, 0.84, positive predictive value = 0.15, negative predictive value = 0.98]. The presence of all three signs was strongly predictive, with 32% of such patients meeting aggressive disease criteria. The absence of all three signs was associated with a 1.4% risk. Of the 556 eligible patients in the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Registry cohort, 34 (6%) met criteria for aggressive multiple sclerosis. The combination of all three signs was also predictive in this cohort (AUC = 0.75, 95% CIs: 0.66, 0.84, positive predictive value = 0.15, negative predictive value = 0.97). Taken together, these findings suggest that older age at symptom onset, greater disability during the first year, and pyramidal signs in the first year are early indicators of aggressive multiple sclerosis.
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May 2020

Risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: A longitudinal study.

Mult Scler 2020 01 9;26(1):79-90. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

CORe, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/L4 Centre, Melbourne Brain Centre at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Background: The risk factors for conversion from relapsing-remitting to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis remain highly contested.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the demographic, clinical and paraclinical features that influence the risk of conversion to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Methods: Patients with adult-onset relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and at least four recorded disability scores were selected from MSBase, a global observational cohort. The risk of conversion to objectively defined secondary progressive multiple sclerosis was evaluated at multiple time points per patient using multivariable marginal Cox regression models. Sensitivity analyses were performed.

Results: A total of 15,717 patients were included in the primary analysis. Older age (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.02,  < 0.001), longer disease duration (HR = 1.01,  = 0.038), a higher Expanded Disability Status Scale score (HR = 1.30,  < 0.001), more rapid disability trajectory (HR = 2.82,  < 0.001) and greater number of relapses in the previous year (HR = 1.07,  = 0.010) were independently associated with an increased risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Improving disability (HR = 0.62,  = 0.039) and disease-modifying therapy exposure (HR = 0.71,  = 0.007) were associated with a lower risk. Recent cerebral magnetic resonance imaging activity, evidence of spinal cord lesions and oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid were not associated with the risk of conversion.

Conclusion: Risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis increases with age, duration of illness and worsening disability and decreases with improving disability. Therapy may delay the onset of secondary progression.
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January 2020

Genetic Analysis of TREM2 Variants in Tunisian Patients with Alzheimer's Disease.

Med Princ Pract 2018 3;27(4):317-322. Epub 2018 May 3.

Department of Neurology, UR12SP21, Razi Hospital, Manouba, Tunisia.

Objective: Rare variants in the TREM2 gene have been reported to significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease in Caucasian populations. Hitherto, this association was not studied in North African populations. In this work, we aimed to study the association between TREM2 exon 2 variants and the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) in a Tunisian population.

Subjects And Methods: We sequenced exon 2 of TREM2 in a Tunisian cohort of 172 LOAD patients and 158 control subjects. We used the Fisher exact test to compare the distribution of allelic frequencies between the two groups.

Results: We identified 4 previously reported nonsynonymous variants (p.Asp39Glu, p.Arg62His, p.Thr96Lys, and p.Val126Gly) and 1 novel synonymous variant (p.Gln109Gln), none of which was significantly associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, the rare TREM2 variant (p.Arg47His), which was considered to be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease in European descent populations, was not detected in our cohort.

Conclusion: These findings do not support a major role for TREM2 in the pathogenesis of LOAD in the Tunisian population.
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January 2019

Intrafamilial phenotypic variability in idiopathic Fahr's disease.

Tunis Med 2016 Aug - Sep;94(8-9):565-567

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November 2018

Isolated spinal cord compression syndrome revealing delayed extensive superficial siderosis of the central nervous system secondary to cervical root avulsion.

J Spinal Cord Med 2018 07 5;41(4):490-495. Epub 2017 Jun 5.

a Department of Neurology , Razi Hospital , Tunis , Tunisia.

Context: Cervical root avulsion secondary to traumatic plexus injury is a rare etiology of superficial siderosis (SS) of the central nervous system (CNS). We describe the case of an isolated progressive compressive myelopathy revealing this complication and discuss the pathogenesis of such a presentation, its clinical and imaging peculiarities with a literature review.

Findings: We report on the case of a 48-year-old man with history of left brachial plexus injury at the age of 2 years. Since the age of 38 years, he had presented with a progressive paraplegia, bladder and erectile dysfunction, neuropathic pain and sensory level. The diagnosis was made by spinal cord and brain magnetic resonance follow-up imaging revealing hypointensity T2-weighted gradient echo linear dark rim around the entire neuraxis and cervical dural pseudomeningoceles. These MRI findings were suggestive of extensive hemosiderin deposition consolidating the diagnosis of SS of CNS.

Conclusion/clinical Relevance: Our case report illustrates diagnosis difficulties in unusual or paucisymptomatic presentations of SS. A history of brachial plexus trauma with nerve root avulsion should prompt gradient-echo T2-weighted imaging to bring out such a complication. Superficial siderosis of the CNS should be included in the panel of differential diagnosis of the parethospastic syndromes and compressive myelopathy.
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July 2018

Fast multiple sclerosis progression in North Africans: Both genetics and environment matter.

Neurology 2017 Mar 24;88(13):1218-1225. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

From the Department of Neurology (Y.S., E.M., C.L., C.P.) and Biostatistics Unit (S.T.d.M.), Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, France; Department of Neurology (Y.S., I.K., R.G.), UR12SP21, Razi Hospital; Faculty of Medicine of Tunis (Y.S., I.K., R.G.), University Tunis Elmanar, Tunisia; UMR_S1136 (S.T.d.M.) and UMR_S 1127 (C.L.), UPMC Univ Paris 06, Sorbonne Universités; and INSERM UMR_S 1136 (S.T.d.M.), Institut Pierre Louis d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Paris, France.

Objective: To compare multiple sclerosis (MS) disability progression among North Africans (NAs) living in France (NAF) and in Tunisia (NAT) and Caucasian patients born and living in France (CF).

Methods: Patients with MS admitted to the day hospital in the Neurology Department at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital (France) and Razi Hospital (Tunisia) were questioned on their place of birth and the place of birth of their parents. To compare delay to outcomes, log-rank tests were used. Univariate and multivariate Cox models were used to determine factors influencing time to Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 6.

Results: We consecutively included 462 patients: 171 CF, 151 NAT, and 140 NAF. Sex ratio, disease forms, and delay from disease onset to diagnosis were similar between the groups. NAF differed from other groups, with a shorter median time to reach EDSS 3, 4, and 6, and a more frequent incomplete recovery after first relapse ( < 0.0001). Furthermore, the NA second-generation group showed the youngest median age at onset (26.5 ± 8.8 years, = 0.001), the shortest median time to EDSS 6 in relapsing-remitting patients, and an increased mean number of relapses during the first 5 years of the disease (6.1 ± 3.7, = 0.01) compared to CF. The Cox proportional hazard models demonstrate that (1) NA ethnicity is a significant predictor of fast progression even when adjusting for major covariates and (2) treatment did not influence the models.

Conclusion: Our study further supports severity of MS in NAs and unravels the particular severity in NAs living in France, mainly for the second generation.
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March 2017

Fahr's disease revealed by psychiatric symptoms like schizo-affective disorder.

Tunis Med 2015 Dec;93(12):805-6

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December 2015

Long-term evolution of EEG in Unverricht-Lundborg disease.

Neurophysiol Clin 2016 Apr 4;46(2):119-24. Epub 2016 May 4.

Service de neurologie, UR 12SP21, CHU Razi, Tunis, Tunisia; Faculté de médecine de Tunis, université El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia. Electronic address:

Objectives: To describe the EEG characteristics of patients with Unverricht-Lundborg disease (ULD) and their changes during the long-term evolution of the disease.

Methods: A retrospective study including all patients with ULD confirmed by molecular biology and more than 15 years' duration of disease progression at the time of inclusion. EEGs were recorded at inclusion, 2 years and 5 years of follow-up. Patients who discontinued treatment during follow-up had an EEG monitoring 1 year after reintroduction of therapy.

Results: Forty-seven EEGs were performed in 17 patients. The mean age at onset was 12.0±5.5 years. The mean duration of follow-up was 26.5±6.9 years. The average background rhythm was 8.2 c/s, and was normal in 30 EEGs (64%), slow in 17 (36%) and disorganized in 11 (23%). Epileptic abnormalities were found in 22 EEGs (47%). Myoclonic jerks were found in 13 EEGs (28%). After re-adaptation of antiepileptic medication in patients who had previously stopped treatment, control EEG showed a normal background rhythm with no epileptic abnormalities throughout the monitoring period.

Conclusion: This study shows that the progressive disappearance of EEG abnormalities is rather due to antiepileptic treatment than a gradual spontaneous tendency to decrease over time.
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April 2016

Evaluation of an Arabic version of the non-motor symptoms scale in Parkinson's disease.

Neurol Sci 2016 Jun 1;37(6):963-8. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Department of Neurology, UR12SP21, Razi Hospital, 1, rue des Orangers, 2010, Mannouba, Tunis, Tunisia.

Non-motor symptoms (NMS) of Parkinson Disease (PD) are common and can cause severe disability. They are often under-recognized and remain untreated. Tools to evaluate these symptoms in Arabic-speaking patients are still lacking. The objective of this study was to evaluate an Arabic version of the non-motor symptoms scale (NMSS) of PD as an instrument for measuring NMS in Arabic-speaking patients. Sixty-two PD patients clustered around Hoehn & Yahr Stages 2-3 were evaluated by the Arabic version of NMSS. They also underwent a battery of standard psychometric assessment measures that included the scales for outcomes of Parkinson's disease-autonomic (SCOPA-AUT), the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI), the Beck depression inventory, the geriatric depression scale (GDS), the mini-mental state examination (MMSE), the visual analogical scale for pain(VAS) and the neuro-psychiatric inventory (NPI). The metric properties of the NMSS were studied as well as its correlation with other standard tests evaluating NMS. The mean NMSS score was 82 ± 56 (skewness 0.88). There were highly significant correlations between the NMSS and the SCOPA-AUT as well as the NMSS and PSQI scores. Significant positive correlations between NMSS and GDS, BECK and VAS were also observed. The sleep/fatigue domain significantly correlated with the PSQI, the cardiovascular/urinary/sexual function/gastrointestinal domains significantly correlated with the SCOPA-AUT, the mood/cognition domain significantly correlated with the GDS and BECK findings. The mean Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0.87, showing a satisfactory internal consistency. The Arabic version of NMSS can be considered a comprehensive and reliable measure for non-motor symptoms in Arabic-speaking PD patients.
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June 2016

Season of birth and multiple sclerosis in Tunisia.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2015 Nov 13;4(6):491-4. Epub 2015 Aug 13.

Department of Neurology, Research Unit 12SP21, Razi Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia. Electronic address:

Background: Recent studies on date of birth of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients showed an association between month of birth and the risk of developing MS. This association has not been investigated in an African country.

Objective: We aimed to determine if the risk of MS is associated with month of birth in Tunisia.

Methods: Data concerning date of birth for MS patients in Tunisia (n = 1912) was obtained. Birth rates of MS patients were compared with all births in Tunisia matched by year of birth (n = 11,615,912). We used a chi-squared analysis and the Hewitt's non-parametric test for seasonality.

Results: The distribution of births among MS patients compared with the control population was not different when tested by the chi-squared test. The Hewitt's test for seasonality showed an excess of births between May and October among MS patients (p = 0.03). The peak of Births of MS patients in Tunisia was in July and the nadir in December.

Conclusion: Our data does support the seasonality hypothesis of month of birth as risk factor for MS in Tunisia. Low vitamin D levels during pregnancy could be a possible explanation that needs further investigation.
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November 2015

Clinical features and disability progression in multiple sclerosis in Tunisia: do we really have a more aggressive disease course?

J Neurol Sci 2014 Aug 2;343(1-2):110-4. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Department of Neurology, Razi Hospital, Mannouba, Tunisia. Electronic address:

Background: Few epidemiological data are available on multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in North Africa (NA). Studies of immigrants from NA showed a more aggressive course compared to European patients.

Objective: The aim of this study is to describe clinical and long term course characteristics of MS in Tunisia and to compare it to European cohorts.

Method: A total of 437 MS patients from three hospital based cohorts in Tunisia and having prospective follow up between 2010 and 2012 were analyzed. We considered as endpoints the time to reach EDSS scores of 3, 4 and 6 in the different clinical forms of MS and the beginning of a secondary progressive (SP) phase.

Results: Sex ratio was 2.34. Mean age of onset was 30.3 years. The course was relapsing-remitting (RR) in 91% of patients and primary progressive (PP) in 9%. The most frequent isolated onset symptoms were respectively motor (28%), optic neuritis (20%) and sensory (16%) dysfunction. Median time to SP onset was 19.1 years. Median times from onset of multiple sclerosis to assignment of a score of 3, 4 and 6 were 8, 10.7 and 15 years respectively. Benign form of MS represented 31.5%. Median interval from the onset of the disease to EDSS score of 3, 4 and 6 was shorter in PP-MS than in RR-MS. However, there was no difference between these two groups for the median time from the assignment of EDSS 4 to the assignment EDSS 6.

Conclusions: Our study shows that Tunisian MS patients have a quite similar clinical feature to European patients. Still, larger MS multicenter cohort studies in NA with longer follow-up duration could clearly respond to the issue.
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August 2014

Bipolar disorder and multiple sclerosis: a case series.

Behav Neurol 2014 17;2014:536503. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

Department of Neurology, Razi Hospital, Manouba, 2010 Tunis, Tunisia.

Background: The prevalence of psychiatric disturbance for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is higher than that observed in other chronic health conditions. We report three cases of MS and bipolar disorder and we discuss the possible etiological hypothesis and treatment options.

Observations: All patients fulfilled the McDonald criteria for MS. Two patients were followed up in psychiatry for manic or depressive symptoms before developing MS. A third patient was diagnosed with MS and developed deferred psychotic symptoms. Some clinical and radiological features are highlighted in our patients: one manic episode induced by high dose corticosteroids and one case of a new orbitofrontal MRI lesion concomitant with the emergence of psychiatric symptoms. All patients needed antipsychotic treatment with almost good tolerance for high dose corticosteroids and interferon beta treatment.

Conclusions: MRI lesions suggest the possible implication of local MS-related brain damage in development of pure "psychiatric fits" in MS. Genetic susceptibility is another hypothesis for this association. We have noticed that interferon beta treatments were well tolerated while high dose corticosteroids may induce manic fits.
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December 2014

[The arteriovenous fistula is an additional risk factor for developing carpal tunnel syndrome in hemodialysis patients].

Nephrol Ther 2014 Jun 8;10(3):177-80. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Unité de recherche 12SP21, service de neurologie, centre hospitalier universitaire Razi, rue des orangers Manouba, 2010 Tunis, Tunisie. Electronic address:

Introduction: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most frequent entrapment neuropathy reported in patients with renal failure undergoing periodic haemodialysis. The role of arteriovenous fistula was discussed. The aim of this study was to investigate this relationship.

Methods: Subjects for this study were hemodialysis patients who underwent systematic electroneuromyography between January 2003 and December 2010. Only patients with unilateral fistulae were included for the study.

Results: One hundred and thirty-four out of 155 patients were examined. CTS was noted in 106 patients and was detectable only in ENMG in 42% of cases. It was more frequent (P<0.001) and more severe in the side of fistulae (P=0.08). Besides, development of CTS was only correlated with the longer duration of dialysis (P=0.005). This duration was significantly shorter in patients with CTS and diabetes.

Conclusion: The positive correlation between CTS and aretriovenous fistulae confirms the pathogenic role of this latter. The risk rises in these patients with the duration of hemodialysis and the presence of diabetes.
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June 2014

Cerebral venous thrombosis: clinical features, risk factors, and long-term outcome in a Tunisian cohort.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2014 Jul 22;23(6):1291-5. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Neurology Department, Military Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia.

Background: Data from African countries regarding diagnosis, prognosis, management, and outcome of patients with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) are limited. The aim of the present study is to characterize clinical presentation, predisposing factors, neuroimaging findings, and outcomes of the disease in the Tunisian population.

Methods: This is a prospective study including patients referred to the Neurology Department of the Military Hospital of Tunis between January 2009 and December 2012. The diagnosis of CVT was confirmed in all patients using magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance venography. The demographic, clinical, radiological, and outcome data were recorded and analyzed. Median follow-up was 16 months (range 6 months to 4 years). Primary outcome was death or dependency as assessed by modified Rankin score more than 2 at the end of follow-up.

Results: This study included 41 patients with CVT. Mean age was 41.24 years, predominantly women (68%). The mode of onset was acute in 10 patients (24%), subacute in 26 (64%), and chronic in 5 (12%). The most common presenting features were headache, observed in 83% of the patients, followed by seizures, focal motor deficits, papilledema, and mental status changes. Lateral (56%) and superior longitudinal (51%) sinuses were the most commonly involved. Multiple sinuses were involved in 46% of cases. Nineteen patients (46%) had a D-dimer level more than 500 ng/mL. Major causes of CVT were thrombophilia (56%), either genetic or acquired, obstetric and gynecological (50%), and septic (34%). Outcome was favorable in 83% of patients. At the end of follow-up, 32 patients (78%) had complete recovery (modified Rankin Scale [mRs] score 0-1), 2 (5%) had partial recovery (mRs score 2), and 4 (10%) were dependent (mRs score 3-5). One patient (2.5%) had a recurrent sinus thrombosis.

Conclusions: Our Tunisian population presented distinct risk factors profile with high frequency of thrombophilia, infections, and postpartum state. Oral contraceptive use is not a major risk factor in our population. The overall prognosis was good.
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July 2014