The role of NMR imaging in the assessment of multiple sclerosis and isolated neurological lesions. A quantitative study

Ormerod, I. E., Miller, D. H., McDonald, W. I., du Boulay, E. P., Rudge, P., Kendall, B. E., Moseley, I. F., Johnson, G., Tofts, P. S., Halliday, A. M., Bronstein, A., Scarivilli, F., Harding, A. E., Barnes, D. and Zilkha, K. J. (1987) The role of NMR imaging in the assessment of multiple sclerosis and isolated neurological lesions. A quantitative study. Brain, 110 (6). pp. 1579-1616. ISSN 0006-8950

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Abstract

The form and distribution of MRI abnormalities in 114 patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS) have been compared with observations on 53 apparently healthy individuals, 129 patients with isolated focal neurological lesions with which MS often presents (51 patients with optic neuritis, 44 with isolated brainstem lesions and 34 with isolated spinal cord syndromes) and 105 patients with disorders which may be confused clinically or radiologically with MS. The latter comprised 55 patients with cerebral vascular disease (including 7 cases of dementia with diffuse white matter disease), 24 with degenerative ataxic disorders, 8 with cerebellar tonsillar ectopia, 7 with sarcoidosis and 11 with a variety of other disorders. Periventricular abnormalities were found in all but 2 patients with MS and discrete white matter lesions in all but 12. Characteristically the periventricular changes in MS were irregular in outline. Periventricular abnormalities which were often milder and of smooth outline were seen in 37/55 patients with cerebral vascular disease, 9/24 with cerebellar degeneration, 5/7 with sarcoidosis and in 2/3 apparently healthy individuals over the age of 60. The appearances in the 7 cases of dementia resembled those with advanced MS. Cerebellar and/or brainstem atrophy characteristic of the cerebellar degenerations, in the absence of white matter abnormalities, was helpful in making the distinction from MS. Congenital anomalies and tumours in the region of the brainstem and foramen magnum were readily shown. More than half the patients with symptoms attributable to isolated focal neurological lesions had additional lesions at presentation. MS cannot be diagnosed in these cases at presentation, but repeat scans after 5 to 20 months in 25 patients with optic neuritis and 10 with clinically isolated brainstem lesions have shown new lesions in 7 (20%). The patients with new lesions fulfil the criteria for clinically probable MS (Poser et al., 1983). Measurements of T1 and T2 in vivo permitted the distinction of acute from chronic brainstem lesions. There were quantitative differences in T1 and T2 between the normal appearing white matter in MS and normal brain. Studies of postmortem brains provided convincing evidence that the MRI abnormalities in MS correspond with plaques. Evidence is adduced to support the view that an important source of the abnormal NMR signals in acute lesions is oedema, and in chronic lesions is gliosis; demyelination per se is unlikely to make an important contribution.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescent,adult,pathology,brain stem,physiopathology,central nervous system diseases,complications,diagnosis,cerebellum,brain,cerebrovascular disorders,evoked potentials, auditory,female,humans,magnetic resonance imaging,middle aged,multiple sclerosis,nerve degeneration ,nervous system diseases,optic neuritis,spinal cord
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Clinical Science and Trials
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2015 17:00
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 11:09
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/54600
DOI:

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