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J Neurol Sci. 1987 Oct;81(1):67-77.

Formalin fixed brains are useful for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study.

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Department of Neuropathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


We carried out magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies on human brains which had been fixed in formalin solution for over 2 years and had been proven neuropathologically to be cases of multiple sclerosis (MS), progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and Balo's concentric sclerosis (Balo). Using spin echo (SE) and inversion recovery (IR) pulse sequences to detect demyelinated lesions in a living person with MS, the demyelinated lesions of the fixed brains in cases of MS, PML and Balo definitely re-appeared, although T1 and T2 in the gray and white matter were reduced following fixation. High signal areas on the SE images corresponded not only to the characteristic distribution of demyelinated lesions in the white matter but also to sparse myelin, gliosis and mild perivascular cuffing in the white matter around the demyelinated foci in cases of the fixed MS, PML and Balo brains. On the IR images, only MS plaques were evident. This MRI study of fixed brains proved useful to elucidate clinicopathological correlations.

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