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Mult Scler. 2005 Apr;11(2):127-34.

Microglial imaging with positron emission tomography and atrophy measurements with magnetic resonance imaging in multiple sclerosis: a correlative study.

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Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, the Netherlands.



The objectives of the present study were to assess brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients during different disease stages and to investigate by PET and [11C]PK11195, a marker of microglial activation, the relationship between inflammation, atrophy and clinically relevant measures.


Eight healthy subjects and 22 MS patients were included. Semiquantitative [11C]PK11195 uptake values, with normalization on cortical grey matter, were measured for magnetic resonance imaging T2- and T1-lesions and normal appearing white matter (NAWM). As atrophy index we used the ratio of the amount of white and grey matter divided by the ventricular size, using an optimized a priori based segmentation algorithm (SPM99).


Atrophy was significantly greater in MS patients compared to age-matched controls. A significant correlation was found between brain atrophy and both disease duration and disability, as measured with the Expanded Disability Status Scale. For NAWM, [11C]PK11195 uptake increased with the amount of atrophy, while T2-lesional [11C]PK11195 uptake values decreased according to increasing brain atrophy.


The present study suggests that brain atrophy, correlating with disease duration and disability, is directly related to NAWM and T2-lesional inflammation as measured by microglial activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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