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J Neuroimaging. 2007 Apr;17 Suppl 1:16S-21S.

T1- and T2-based MRI measures of diffuse gray matter and white matter damage in patients with multiple sclerosis.

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1
Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as a powerful noninvasive tool to assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition, investigators have used MRI metrics as supportive outcome measures to explore drug efficacy in clinical trials. Conventional MRI surrogates provide information at the macroscopic level but lack sensitivity and specificity in identifying the full extent of underlying MS pathology. They also show relatively weak relationships to clinical status such as predictive strength for clinical change. Advanced MRI techniques involving quantitative measures of diffuse damage in normal appearing (NA) white matter (WM) and gray matter (GM) may help in resolving this apparent clinical MRI paradox. T2 hypointensity has been described in the GM of patients with MS and has been linked to physical disability, cognitive dysfunction, and brain atrophy. While this T2 hypointensity is thought to represent iron deposition, this awaits pathologic confirmation. Advanced MRI measures of iron deposition such as R2, R2*, R2' relaxometry, 3T imaging and other new approaches are beginning to be applied to studies of MS and should yield interesting information. Both T1 and T2 relaxometry have a role in detecting damage in NA brain tissue that escapes detection by conventional MRI lesion measures. For example, T2 mapping may allow an assessment of myelin content in NAWM. In this review, we will focus on MRI advances in the last 10 years pertaining to T1 and T2 measures of diffuse GM and WM damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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