Using diffusion tensor imaging and immunofluorescent assay to evaluate the pathology of multiple sclerosis

Lauren V. Zollinger, Tae Ho Kim, Kenneth Hill, Eun K. Jeong, John W. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the ability of the principal diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices to predict the underlying histopathology evaluated with immunofluorescent assay (IFA). Materials and Methods: Conventional T2 and 3D multishot-diffusion weighted echoplanar imaging (3D ms-DWEPI) was performed on a fixed, ex vivo human cervical spinal cord (CSC) from a patient with a history of multiple sclerosis (MS). In all, 170 regions of interest (ROIs) were selected within the white matter and categorized as a high intensity lesion (HIL), low intensity lesion (LIL), and normal-appearing white matter (NAWM). The longitudinal diffusivity (ll), radial diffusivity (lr), and fractional anisotropy (FA) were obtained from each ROI. The underlying histopathology was then evaluated using immunofluorescent assay with antibodies directed to myelin and neurofilament staining. Results: The mean values for λl and λr were significantly elevated within HIL relative to NAWM and LIL. IFA analysis of HIL demonstrated significant demyelination, without significant if any axon loss. The FA values were significantly reduced in HIL and LILs. FA values were also reduced in lesions with increased λl and λr values relative to normal. Conclusion: Aberrant λl, λr, and FA relative to normal values are strong indicators of demyelination. DTI indices are not specific for axon loss. IFA analysis is a reliable method to demonstrate myelin and axon pathology within the ex vivo setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Cervical spinal cord
  • Demyelination
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Using diffusion tensor imaging and immunofluorescent assay to evaluate the pathology of multiple sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this