Pathological Assessment of Brain White Matter in Relapsing-Remitting MS Patients using Quantitative Magnetization Transfer Imaging

Document Type: Original Paper

Authors

1 M.Sc. of Medical Physics, Medical Physics Dept., Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran

2 Prof., Medical Physics Dept., Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Neurology Dept., Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Radiology Dept., Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran

5 Research Assistant, Medical Image Center, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran

6 Neurology Resident, Neurology Dept., Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran

7 M.Sc. of Medical Physics, Imaging Center, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by lesions in the white matter (WM) of the central nervous system. Magnetic resonance imaging is the most specific and sensitive method for diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. However, the ability of conventional MRI to show histopathologic heterogeneity of MS lesions is insufficient. Quantitative magnetization transfer imaging (qMTI) is a relatively new method to investigate pathologic processes of the brain tissue occurring in MS patients.
Material and Methods: Voxel-based analyses allow regional comparisons between groups to be made for the whole brain in a single analysis. This is done by coregistering data from all individual subjects to a reference brain, generally referred to as the "standard space", and then comparing them on a voxel-by-voxel basis. This study aimed to analyze whole-brain quantitative T1 maps, not to find global changes or changes in selected regions, but specifically to investigate the spatial distribution throughout the brain of T1 increases in MS WM with respect to control WM. In this study, 11 healthy controls, 10 relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients and 13 CIS patients were studied using MT-MRI imaging. MT parameters, including magnetization transfer ratio (MTR), magnetization transfer rate between free protons and restricted macromolecular protons, Ksat and longitudinal relaxation times (with and without MT saturation pulse), T1sat and T1free values were evaluated.
Results: The results showed that, at a group level, there is widespread involvement of WM throughout the brain in CIS MS and especially in RRMS, where a significant T1 increase was found in 15.58% of WM voxels (normals < RR).
Discussion and Conclusion: This study demonstrates that WM in large parts of the brain is susceptible to disease processes in RR and CIS MS

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Volume 8, Issue 3
September and October 2011
Pages 21-29
  • Receive Date: 11 July 2011
  • Revise Date: 23 October 2011
  • Accept Date: 30 October 2011