More MS news articles for June 2002

T1 histograms of normal-appearing brain tissue are abnormal in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis, 1 May 2002, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 211-216(6)
Griffin CM[1]; Dehmeshki J[1]; Chard DT[1]; Parker GJM[1]; Barker GJ[1]; Thompson AJ[1]; Miller DH[1]
[1] NMR Research Unit, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK


To use both whole-brain and normal-appearing brain tissue (NABT) T1 relaxation time histograms to investigate abnormalities in early relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS).


In patients with established MS, both lesions and NABT exhibit an increase in T1 relaxation time. By using T1 histogram analysis, it is hoped that such changes in early disease can be detected.


Twenty-seven patients and 14 age- and sex-matched controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, which included the following sequences: 1) proton density (PD)- and T2-weighted fast spin echo (FSE) to measure T2 lesion load, 2) PD- and T1-weighted gradient echos from which T1 relaxation was calculated, and 3) T1-weighted SE imaging pre- and post-triple dose (0.3 mmol/kg) gadolinium (Gd-DTPA) to measure T1 hypointense and gadolinium-enhancing lesion loads, respectively. All patients had RR MS with disease duration <3 years (median 1.7 years). Statistical parametric mapping (SPM) 99 was used to segment brain from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and lesions were segmented using a local thresholding technique.


Both whole-brain and NABT histograms were abnormal for all six T1 histogram parameters that were measured. For NABT, the mean T1 was 1027 (-74) ms in patients and 969 (-41) ms in controls (p=0.003). There was little difference between the global and NABT histograms, which indicates that most of the whole-brain histogram abnormality derives from normal-appearing tissues. There was a correlation between the Nine-Hole Peg Test and NABT T1 measures.


There are widespread abnormalities of NABT in early RR MS, which were sensitively detected by T1 relaxation time histogram analysis. As such, T1 histogram analysis appears promising for studying the natural history of early RR MS, and in the monitoring of response to treatment.

© 2002 ingenta