Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is an extremely sensitive modality for detecting focal changes to the white matter (WM) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). For this reason, it has become an integral part of the diagnostic workup of patients with clinically isolated syndromes who are at risk of developing definite MS, and it is always recommended in patients with definite MS to confirm the diagnosis and monitor the disease course. Crucial to the use of MR imaging for diagnostic purposes is the identification of lesion features - in terms of site, shape and size - that may be considered suggestive or typical for MS, and thus help in the differential diagnosis with other neurological diseases with similar clinical presentation to MS. This need has led to the publication of several guidelines for characterising MS lesions on both dualecho (T2 and proton density) and T1-weighted sequences after administration of contrast material. Developments in clinical research into MS have highlighted the need to formulate a diagnosis as far as possible on the basis of objective and reproducible criteria. Currently, when making a clinical diagnosis and monitoring patients with suspected MS, neurologists and neuroradiologists make use of specific diagnostic criteria that have changed over the years and will probably continue to be updated. It is therefore crucial for radiologists to become familiar with these criteria in order to improve the quality of their diagnostic assessment. In patients with a definite diagnosis of MS, on the other hand, the main problem is to define standard procedures for monitoring the course of the disease and response to pharmacological treatments. even though no guidelines currently exist, it is possible to suggest some strategies to improve the assessment in this setting.
|Translated title of the contribution||Contribution of magnetic resonance imaging to the diagnosis and monitoring of multiple sclerosis|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging