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Radiology. 2013 May;267(2):531-42. doi: 10.1148/radiol.12120863. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

Multiple sclerosis: validation of MR imaging for quantification and detection of iron.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Alberta, 1098 RTF, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2V2.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate the relationship between iron staining and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging measurements in postmortem subjects with multiple sclerosis (MS).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Institutional ethical approval was obtained, and informed consent was obtained from the subjects and/or their families. Four MR imaging methods based on transverse relaxation (T2 weighting, R2 mapping, and R2* mapping) and phase imaging were performed by using a 4.7-T system in three in situ postmortem patients with MS less than 28 hours after death and in one in vivo patient 1 year before death. Iron staining with the Perls iron reaction was performed after brain extraction. Region-of-interest measurements from six subcortical gray matter structures were obtained from MR imaging and then correlated with corresponding locations on photographs of iron-stained pathologic slices by using a separate linear least-squares regression in each subject. Iron status of white matter lesions, as determined by staining, was compared with appearance on MR images.

RESULTS:

R2* mapping had the highest intrasubject correlations with iron in subcortical gray matter (R(2) = 0.857, 0.628, and 0.685; all P < .001), while R2 mapping (R(2) = 0.807, 0.615, 0.628, and 0.489; P < .001 and P = .001, .034, and .001, respectively), phase imaging (R(2) = 0.672, 0.441, 0.596, 0.548; all P ≤ .001), and T2-weighted imaging (R(2) = 0.463, 0.582, 0.650, and 0.551; all P < .001) had lower but still strong correlations. Within lesions, hypointense areas on phase images did not always represent iron. A hyperintense rim surrounding lesions on R2* maps was only present with iron staining, yet not all iron-staining lesions had R2* rim hyperintensity.

CONCLUSION:

All four MR imaging methods had significant linear correlations with iron and could potentially be used to determine iron status of subcortical gray matter structures in MS, with R2* mapping being preferred. A reliable method of determining iron status within MS lesions was not established.

PMID:
23297322
DOI:
10.1148/radiol.12120863
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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