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J Neurol Sci. 2009 Apr 15;279(1-2):99-105. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2008.11.009.

Spinal cord lesions and clinical status in multiple sclerosis: A 1.5 T and 3 T MRI study.

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Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Partners MS Center, Harvard Medical School, Brookline, MA 02445, USA.



Assess the relationship between spinal cord T2 hyperintense lesions and clinical status in multiple sclerosis (MS) with 1.5 and 3 T MRI.


Whole cord T2-weighted fast spin-echo MRI was performed in 32 MS patients [Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score (mean+/-SD: 2+/-1.9), range 0-6.5]. Protocols at 1.5 T and 3 T were optimized and matched on voxel size.


Moderate correlations were found between whole cord lesion volume and EDSS score at 1.5 T (r(s)=.36, p=0.04), but not at 3 T (r(s)=0.13, p=0.46). Pyramidal Functional System Score (FSS) correlated with thoracic T2 lesion number (r(s)=.46, p=0.01) and total spinal cord lesion number (r(s)=0.37, p=0.04) and volume (r(s)=0.37, p=0.04) at 1.5 T. Bowel/bladder FSS correlated with T2 lesion volume and number in the cervical, thoracic, and total spine at 1.5 T (r(s) 0.40-0.57, all p<0.05). These MRI-FSS correlations were non-significant at 3 T. However, these correlation coefficients did not differ significantly between platforms (Choi's test p>0.05). Correlations between whole cord lesion volume and timed 25-foot walk were non-significant at 1.5 T and 3 T (p>0.05). Lesion number and volume did not differ between MRI platforms in the MS group (p>0.05).


Despite the use of higher field MRI strength, the link between spinal lesions and MS disability remains weak. The 1.5 T and 3 T protocols yielded similar results for many comparisons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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