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Mult Scler. 2019 Feb 7:1352458519828297. doi: 10.1177/1352458519828297. [Epub ahead of print]

White-matter-nulled MPRAGE at 7T reveals thalamic lesions and atrophy of specific thalamic nuclei in multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, CNRS UMR 5293, Bordeaux, France; University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; CHU de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
3
CHU de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
4
Department of Medical Imaging, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.
5
University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; CHU de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; INSERM U1215, Neurocentre Magendie, Bordeaux, France.
6
Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.
7
Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND::

Investigating the degeneration of specific thalamic nuclei in multiple sclerosis (MS) remains challenging.

METHODS::

White-matter-nulled (WMn) MPRAGE, MP-FLAIR, and standard T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed on MS patients ( n = 15) and matched controls ( n = 12). Thalamic lesions were counted in individual sequences and lesion contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) was measured. Volumes of 12 thalamic nuclei were measured using an automatic segmentation pipeline specifically developed for WMn-MPRAGE.

RESULTS::

WMn-MPRAGE showed more thalamic MS lesions ( n = 35 in 9 out of 15 patients) than MP-FLAIR ( n = 25) and standard T1 ( n = 23), which was associated with significant improvement of CNR ( p < 0.0001). MS patients had whole thalamus atrophy ( p = 0.003) with lower volumes found for the anteroventral ( p < 0.001), the pulvinar ( p < 0.0001), and the habenular ( p = 0.004) nuclei.

CONCLUSION::

WMn-MPRAGE and automatic thalamic segmentation can highlight thalamic MS lesions and measure patterns of focal thalamic atrophy.

KEYWORDS:

Thalamic nuclei; multi-atlas segmentation; multiple sclerosis; ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging; white-matter-nulled MPRAGE

PMID:
30730233
DOI:
10.1177/1352458519828297

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