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Neuroimage. 2010 Jul 1;51(3):1089-97. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.03.045. Epub 2010 Mar 23.

In vivo quantitative evaluation of brain tissue damage in multiple sclerosis using gradient echo plural contrast imaging technique.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Washington University in St.Louis, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63130, USA.

Abstract

Conventional MRI based on weighted spin-echo (SE) images aids in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS); however, MRI markers derived from SE sequences provide limited information about lesion severity and correlate poorly with patient disability assessed with clinical tests. In this study, we introduced a novel method [based on quantitative R2* (1/T2*) histograms] for estimating the severity of brain tissue damage in MS lesions. We applied at 1.5T an advanced, multi-gradient echo MRI technique [gradient echo plural contrast imaging (GEPCI)] to obtain images of the brains of healthy control subjects and subjects with MS. GEPCI is a simple yet robust technique allowing simultaneous acquisition of inherently co-registered quantitative T2* and FLAIR-like maps, along with T1-weighted images within a clinically acceptable time frame. Images obtained with GEPCI appear highly similar to standard scans; hence, they can be used in a reliable and conventional way for a clinical evaluation of the disease. Yet, the main advantage of GEPCI approach is its quantitative nature. Analysis of R2* histograms of white matter revealed a difference in the distribution between healthy subjects and subjects with MS. Based on this difference, we developed a new method for grading the severity of tissue damage [tissue damage score (TDS)] in MS lesions. This method also provides a tissue damage load (TDL) assessing both lesion load and lesion severity, and a mean tissue damage score (MTDS) estimating the average MS lesion damage. We found promising correlations between the results derived from this method and the standard measure of clinical disability.

PMID:
20338247
PMCID:
PMC2862897
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.03.045
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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