Evaluating Magnetic Resonance Diffusion Properties Together with Brain Volumetry May Predict Progression to Multiple Sclerosis

Stulík J, Keřkovský M, Kuhn M, Svobodová M, Benešová Y, Bednařík J, Šprláková-Puková A, Mechl M, Dostál M.

Acad Radiol. 2022 Jan 20:S1076-6332(21)00576-6. doi:10.1016/j.acra.2021.12.015. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35067451.


28 Jan 2022

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Rationale and objectives: Although the gold standard in predicting future progression from clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) to clinically definite multiple sclerosis (CDMS) consists in the McDonald criteria, efforts are being made to employ various advanced MRI techniques for predicting clinical progression. This study's main aim was to evaluate the predictive power of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain and brain volumetry to distinguish between patients having CIS with future progression to CDMS from those without progression during the following 2 years and to compare those parameters with conventional MRI evaluation.

Materials and methods: All participants underwent an MRI scan of the brain. DTI and volumetric data were processed and various parameters were compared between the study groups.

Results: We found significant differences between the subgroups of patients differing by future progression to CDMS in most of those DTI and volumetric parameters measured. Fractional anisotropy of water diffusion proved to be the strongest predictor of clinical conversion among all parameters evaluated, demonstrating also higher specificity compared to evaluation of conventional MRI images according to McDonald criteria.

Conclusion: Conclusion: Our results provide evidence that the evaluation of DTI parameters together with brain volumetry in patients with early-stage CIS may be useful in predicting conversion to CDMS within the following 2 years of the disease course.

Keywords: Brain volumetry; Clinically isolated syndrome; Diffusion tensor imaging; Magnetic resonance imaging; Multiple sclerosis.

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