More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Diffusion tensor imaging in early relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis|-2366265230036197976/-1052814329/6/7051/7051/7052/7052/7051/-1

Multiple Sclerosis,
October 2001,
vol. 7, no. 5,   pp. 290-297(8)
Griffin C.M. [1]; Chard D.T. [1]; Ciccarelli O. [1]; Kapoor R. [1]; Barker G.J. [1]; Thompson A.J. [1]; Miller D.H. [1] *
[1] NMR Research Unit, Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK
[*] Correspondence: DH Miller


Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) indices are abnormal in patients with established multiple sclerosis (MS).

The objective of this study was to examine the diffusion characteristics of MS lesions, normal appearing white matter (NAWM) and normal appearing grey matter (NAGM) in MS patients with early relapsing remitting disease.

A further objective was to investigate the relationship between three DTI parameters (fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD) and volume ratio (VR)) and clinical outcome measures (Kurtzke expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and MS Functional Composite Measure) in early disease.

DTI was performed in 28 patients and 27 controls.

Analysis was carried out using a region of interest (ROI) approach.

ROIs were placed in 12 NAWM and nine NAGM regions.

Significant differences were found in FA, MD and VR between lesions and NAWM (P<0.001 for all three DTI parameters).

No significant differences were found between patients and controls when examining NAWM or NAGM, although there was a trend for abnormal NAWM FA and VR in some regions.

No correlation was found between DTI parameters in lesions, NAWM or NAGM and the clinical outcome measures.

The lack of significant DTI abnormality in the NAWM and NAGM may reflect a lack of pathological change or a limited sensitivity of DTI using ROI methodology.

Previous studies have shown abnormalities in T1 relaxation time, magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) and N-Acetyl aspartate (NAA) in this cohort of patients, and as such, DTI using a region of interest (ROI) approach may not be as sensitive as other MR techniques in detecting subtle changes in normal appearing brain tissue in early disease.

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