Comparison of MRI criteria at first presentation to predict conversion to clinically definite multiple sclerosis

Frederik Barkhof, Massimo Filippi, David H. Miller, Philip Scheltens, Adriana Campi, Chris H. Polman, Giancarlo Comi, Herman J. Adèr, Nick Losseff, Jacob Valk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compared MRI criteria used to predict conversion of suspected multiple sclerosis to clinically definte multiple sclerosis. Seventy-four patients with clinically isolated neurological symptoms suggestive of multiple sclerosis were studied with MRI. Logistic regression analysis was used to remove redundant information, and a diagnostic model was built after each MRI parameter was dichotomized according to maximum accuracy using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Clinically definite multiple sclerosis developed in 33 patients (prevalence 45%). The optimum cut-off point (number of lesions) was one for most MRI criteria (including gadolinium-enhancement and juxta-cortical lesions), but three for periventricular lesions, and nine for the total number of T2-lesions. Only gadolinium-enhancement and juxta-cortical lesions provided independent information. A final model which, in addition, included infratentorial and periventricular lesions, had an accuracy of 80%, and having more abnormal criteria, predicted conversion to clinically definite multiple sclerosis strongly. The model performed better than the criteria of Paty et al. and of Fazekas et al. We concluded that a four-parameter dichotomized MRI model including gadolinium-enhancement, juxtacortical, infratentorial and periventricular lesions best predicts conversion to clinically definite multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2059-2069
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


  • Brain
  • Diagnosis
  • Gadolinium
  • MRI
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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