Since September 2012, when teriflunomide was approved as a disease-modifying treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis, real-world observational studies on teriflunomide in Chinese patients are limited.
We collected demographic characteristics and peripheral blood samples at different time points. Clinical symptoms, magnetic resonance imaging data, and concentrations of neurofilament light chains and multiple cytokines at different time points were compared to assess the efficacy. Moreover, the safety was assessed by blood routine, liver and kidney function, and a questionnaire to report adverse reactions.
Teriflunomide significantly reduced serum levels of neurofilament light chains and several inflammatory cytokines. After accepting teriflunomide treatment, many clinical symptoms improved, scores of the expanded disability status scale decreased from 2.0 to 1.75, and annualized relapse rates decreased from 1.45 to 0.31. 29 (80.56%) and 15 (78.95%) patients achieved the no evidence of disease activity-3 status after 6 months and 12 months treatment, respectively. Teriflunomide was associated with mild or moderate discomfort, and discontinuation rates due to adverse events were low.
Serum neurofilament light chain protein is sensitive to teriflunomide treatment, suggesting that it has the potential to be used as an indicator to assess the efficacy of teriflunomide. Teriflunomide can significantly reduce the concentrations of inflammatory cytokines, indicating that teriflunomide may regulate neuroinflammation through the inhibitory effect on a variety of immune cells and their cytokines. Teriflunomide can improve clinical symptoms and disease severity in MS patients in southern China, and patients have good compliance.