Diffusion basis spectrum imaging provides insights into MS pathology

Peng Sun, Ajit George, Dana C. Perantie, Kathryn Trinkaus, Zezhong Ye, Robert T. Naismith, Sheng Kwei Song, Anne H. Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To use diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI) to assess how damage to normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) in the corpus callosum (CC) influences neurologic impairment in people with MS (pwMS). METHODS: Using standard MRI, the primary pathologies in MS of axonal injury/loss, demyelination, and inflammation are not differentiated well. DBSI has been shown in animal models, phantoms, and in biopsied and autopsied human CNS tissues to distinguish these pathologies. Fifty-five pwMS (22 relapsing-remitting, 17 primary progressive, and 16 secondary progressive) and 13 healthy subjects underwent DBSI analyses of NAWM of the CC, the main WM tract connecting the cerebral hemispheres. Tract-based spatial statistics were used to minimize misalignment. Results were correlated with scores from a battery of clinical tests focused on deficits typical of MS. RESULTS: Normal-appearing CC in pwMS showed reduced fiber fraction and increased nonrestricted isotropic fraction, with the most extensive abnormalities in secondary progressive MS (SPMS). Reduced DBSI-derived fiber fraction and increased DBSI-derived nonrestricted isotropic fraction of the CC correlated with worse cognitive scores in pwMS. Increased nonrestricted isotropic fraction in the body of the CC correlated with impaired hand function in the SPMS cohort. CONCLUSIONS: DBSI fiber fraction and nonrestricted isotropic fraction were the most useful markers of injury in the NAWM CC. These 2 DBSI measures reflect axon loss in animal models. Because of its ability to reveal axonal loss, as well as demyelination, DBSI may be a useful outcome measure for trials of CNS reparative treatments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurology(R) neuroimmunology & neuroinflammation
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

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