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More MS news articles for April 2003

Semi-Automated Measure Of Whole-Brain Atrophy In Multiple Sclerosis

By David Loshak

A DGReview of :"A semiautomated measure of whole-brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis"
Journal of the Neurological Sciences

Whole-brain atrophy, a potential magnetic resonance imaging marker of irreversible pathological damage in multiple sclerosis, can be reliably and readily quantified by a semi-automated approach.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, United States, developed a measure of brain parenchymal fraction, the ratio of brain parenchymal volume to the total volume within the surface contour. They used commercially available software requiring 30 minutes of analysis time per patient.

Brain parenchymal fraction was measured in 78 patients with multiple sclerosis and 17 healthy controls. The fraction was lower in 50 patients with multiple sclerosis age-matched to controls and correlated inversely with third ventricular width and total T1 hypointense lesion volume, but not with total T2 hyperintense lesion volume. It was also found that the brain parenchymal fraction correlated negatively with expanded disability status scale score and disease duration.

Stepwise regression compared the relative abilities of magnetic resonance imaging variables to predict clinical data. Brain parenchymal fraction was the best predictor of disability score compared with regression of age, third ventricular width, T2 lesions and T1 lesions. Third ventricular width was the best predictor of disease duration.

None of the magnetic resonance imaging variables differed between the course of relapsing-remitting disease in 60 patients and the course of secondary progressive disease in 18 patients.

The researchers added that longitudinal studies were warranted to see if their method provided a sensitive biological marker of the multiple sclerosis disease process.

Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2003;15:208(1-2):57-65. "A semiautomated measure of whole-brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis"

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