J Magn Reson Imaging 2003 Apr;17(4):389-97
Horsfield MA, Barker GJ, Barkhof F, Miller DH, Thompson AJ, Filippi M.
Division of Medical Physics, University of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK.
Quantitative evaluation of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans is now an accepted part of the trial of new putative treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS).
However, conventional MRI is not pathologically specific, and it does not reveal the details of the pathological processes that underlie the progression of the disease.
Magnetization transfer (MT) imaging is a relatively new quantitative technique that appears to offer some pathological specificity, and can be used to monitor the changes over time in both individual lesions and the central nervous system as a whole.
This paper considers the case for incorporating MT imaging into new clinical trials, so that the utility of MT for monitoring the modification of MS progression by treatment can be assessed.
Specific guidelines for implementing MT imaging as part of a large multicenter clinical trial are given, and practical considerations when planning such a trial are detailed.
It is anticipated that MT imaging will be incorporated into many new trials in the near future.