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Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2016 Jul 22;3(4):e259. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000259. eCollection 2016 Aug.

MRI phase changes in multiple sclerosis vs neuromyelitis optica lesions at 7T.

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NeuroCure Clinical Research Center (T.S., S.S., K.M., F. Pache, F. Paul, J.W.), Clinical and Experimental Multiple Sclerosis Research Center (L.H., K.R., F. Paul), and Department of Neurology (L.H., K.R., F. Paul), Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin; Institute of Neuroradiology (P.D., J.W.), Universitaetsmedizin Goettingen, Germany; Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience (P.D., P.N.), Charles University in Prague, 1st Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic; Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (T.N., J.W.), Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin; Experimental and Clinical Research Center (T.N., F. Paul, J.W.), Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin and Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany; Department of Radiology (S.C., Y.G.), and Multiple Sclerosis Care Center, Department of Neurology (I.K.), NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY; and Medical Imaging Analysis Center AG (T.S., J.W.), Basel, Switzerland. T.S. is currently with Universitätsspital Basel, Switzerland.



To characterize paramagnetic MRI phase signal abnormalities in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) vs multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions in a cross-sectional study.


Ten patients with NMOSD and 10 patients with relapsing-remitting MS underwent 7-tesla brain MRI including supratentorial T2*-weighted imaging and supratentorial susceptibility weighted imaging. Next, we analyzed intra- and perilesional paramagnetic phase changes on susceptibility weighted imaging filtered magnetic resonance phase images.


We frequently observed paramagnetic rim-like (75 of 232 lesions, 32%) or nodular (32 of 232 lesions, 14%) phase changes in MS lesions, but only rarely in NMOSD lesions (rim-like phase changes: 2 of 112 lesions, 2%, p < 0.001; nodular phase changes: 2 of 112 lesions, 2%, p < 0.001).


Rim-like or nodular paramagnetic MRI phase changes are characteristic for MS lesions and not frequently detectable in NMOSD. Future prospective studies should ask whether these imaging findings can be used as a biomarker to distinguish between NMOSD- and MS-related brain lesions.

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