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Mult Scler. 2009 Sep;15(9):1048-54. doi: 10.1177/1352458509106609. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Quantitative assessment of brain iron by R(2)* relaxometry in patients with clinically isolated syndrome and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Department of Radiology (Division of Neuroradiology), Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increased iron deposition has been implicated in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS), based on visual analysis of signal reduction on T(2)-weighted images. R(2)* relaxometry allows to assess brain iron accumulation quantitatively.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate regional brain iron deposition in patients with a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) or relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and its associations with demographical, clinical, and conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parameters.

METHODS:

We studied 69 patients (CIS, n = 32; RRMS, n = 37) with 3T MRI and analyzed regional R(2)* relaxation rates and their correlations with age, disease duration, disability, T(2) lesion load, and normalized brain volumes.

RESULTS:

Basal ganglia R(2)* relaxation rates increased in parallel with age (r = 0.3-0.6; P < 0.01) and were significantly higher in RRMS than in CIS (P < 0.05). Using multivariate linear regression analysis, the rate of putaminal iron deposition was independently predicted by the patients' age, disease duration, and gray matter atrophy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Quantitative assessment by R(2)* relaxometry suggests increased iron deposition in the basal ganglia of MS patients, which is associated with disease duration and brain atrophy. This technique together with long-term follow-up thus appears suited to clarify whether regional iron accumulation contributes to MS morbidity or merely reflects an epiphenomenon.

PMID:
19556316
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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