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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2012 Mar;32(3):403-12. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2011.191. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Characterizing brain oxygen metabolism in patients with multiple sclerosis with T2-relaxation-under-spin-tagging MRI.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Center for Biomedical Imaging, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA. yulin.ge@nyumc.org


In this study, venous oxygen saturation and oxygen metabolic changes in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients were assessed using a recently developed T2-relaxation-under-spin-tagging (TRUST) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which measures the superior sagittal venous sinus blood oxygenation (Yv) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)), an index of global oxygen consumption. Thirty patients with relapsing-remitting MS and 30 age-matched healthy controls were studied using TRUST at 3 T MR. The mean expanded disability status scale (EDSS) of the patients was 2.3 (range, 0 to 5.5). We found significantly increased Yv (P<0.0001) and decreased CMRO(2) (P=0.003) in MS patients (mean±s.d.: 65.9%±5.1% and 138.8±35.4 μmol per 100 g per minute) as compared with healthy control subjects (60.2%±4.0% and 180.2±24.8 μmol per 100 g per minute, respectively), implying decrease of oxygen consumption in MS. There was a significant positive correlation between Yv and EDSS and between Yv and lesion load in MS patients (n=30); on the contrary, there was a significant negative correlation between CMRO(2) and EDSS and between CMRO(2) and lesion load (n=12). There was no correlation between Yv and brain atrophy measures. This study showed preliminary evidence of the potential utility of TRUST in global oxygen metabolism. Our results of significant underutilization of oxygen in MS raise important questions regarding mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction and neurodegeneration of the disease.

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