In vivo quantitative evaluation of brain tissue damage in multiple sclerosis using gradient echo plural contrast imaging technique

Pascal Sati, Anne H. Cross, Jie Luo, Charles F. Hildebolt, Dmitriy A. Yablonskiy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conventional MRI based on weighted spin-echo (SE) images aids in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS); however, MRI markers derived from SE sequences provide limited information about lesion severity and correlate poorly with patient disability assessed with clinical tests. In this study, we introduced a novel method [based on quantitative R2 (1/T2) histograms] for estimating the severity of brain tissue damage in MS lesions. We applied at 1.5. T an advanced, multi-gradient echo MRI technique [gradient echo plural contrast imaging (GEPCI)] to obtain images of the brains of healthy control subjects and subjects with MS. GEPCI is a simple yet robust technique allowing simultaneous acquisition of inherently co-registered quantitative T2 and FLAIR-like maps, along with T1-weighted images within a clinically acceptable time frame. Images obtained with GEPCI appear highly similar to standard scans; hence, they can be used in a reliable and conventional way for a clinical evaluation of the disease. Yet, the main advantage of GEPCI approach is its quantitative nature. Analysis of R2 histograms of white matter revealed a difference in the distribution between healthy subjects and subjects with MS. Based on this difference, we developed a new method for grading the severity of tissue damage [tissue damage score (TDS)] in MS lesions. This method also provides a tissue damage load (TDL) assessing both lesion load and lesion severity, and a mean tissue damage score (MTDS) estimating the average MS lesion damage. We found promising correlations between the results derived from this method and the standard measure of clinical disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1097
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroImage
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

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