MRI Distinguishes Brain Lesions

February 8, 2016

MRI distinguishes brain lesions, possibly supplementing existing diagnostic algorithms

MR images can reveal perivenous multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions, and distinguish them from microangiopathic lesions, according to a study published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

Researchers from the United Kingdom undertook a small (40 patients) study to determine if MRI could differentiate MS from microangiopathic brain lesions. Twenty patients (10 with MS and 10 patients with microangiopathic white matter lesions) underwent 3T T2*-weighted MRI. Their scans were anonymized, blind to clinical data, and simple diagnostic rules were devised. Following this, another 13 patients with MS and seven with microangiopathic lesions were scanned as the validation cohort, and the same rules were applied.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"45682","attributes":{"alt":"Nikos Evangelou, MD","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_3453240569737","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"5246","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 135px; width: 180px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"Nikos Evangelou, MD","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

The results showed that the MS patients in the test (first) cohort had visible central lines in more than 45% of the brain lesions, while the rest had visible central lines in fewer than 45% of the lesions. The patients in the validation cohort were then all correctly categorized by applying the diagnostic rules.

“We already knew that large research MRI scanners could detect the proportion of lesions with a vein in the brain's white matter, but these scanners are not clinically available,” lead author Nikos Evangelou, MD, said in a release. “So we wanted to find out whether a single brain scan in an NHS hospital scanner could also be effective in distinguishing between patients known to have MS and patients known to have non-MS brain lesions. We are excited to reveal that our results show that clinical application of this technique could supplement existing diagnostic methods for MS."