Send to

Choose Destination
Neurotherapeutics. 2007 Oct;4(4):602-17.

MRI in multiple sclerosis: what's inside the toolbox?

Author information

Department of Neurology, Center for Neurological Imaging, Partners MS Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has played a central role in the diagnosis and management of multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition, MRI metrics have become key supportive outcome measures to explore drug efficacy in clinical trials. Conventional MRI measures have contributed to the understanding of MS pathophysiology at the macroscopic level yet have failed to provide a complete picture of underlying MS pathology. They also show relatively weak relationships to clinical status such as predictive strength for clinical progression. Advanced quantitative MRI measures such as magnetization transfer, spectroscopy, diffusion imaging, and relaxometry techniques are somewhat more specific and sensitive for underlying pathology. These measures are particularly useful in revealing diffuse damage in cerebral white and gray matter and therefore may help resolve the dissociation between clinical and conventional MRI findings. In this article, we provide an overview of the array of tools available with brain and spinal cord MRI technology as it is applied to MS. We review the most recent data regarding the role of conventional and advanced MRI techniques in the assessment of MS. We focus on the most relevant pathologic and clinical correlation studies relevant to these measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center