Dedicated 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit imaging improves demyelinating lesion detection in the anterior visual pathways of patients with multiple sclerosis

E. Pravatà, L. Roccatagliata, M. P. Sormani, L. Carmisciano, C. Lienerth, R. Sacco, A. Kaelin-Lang, A. Cianfoni, C. Zecca, C. Gobbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Demyelinating lesions in the anterior visual pathways represent an underestimated marker of disease dissemination in patients with MS. We prospectively investigated whether a dedicated high-resolution MR imaging technique, the 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit, improves demyelinating lesion detection compared with the current clinical standard sequence, the 2DT2-STIR. Materials and Methods: 3T MR imaging of the anterior visual pathways (optic nerves, chiasm, and tracts) was performed using 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit and 2D-T2-STIR, in patients with MS and healthy controls. Two experienced neuroradiologists assessed, independently, demyelinating lesions using both sequences separately. 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit scan-rescan reproducibility was tested in 12 patients. The Cohen k was used for interrater agreement, and the intraclass correlation coefficient for reproducibility. Betweensequence detection differences and the effects of location and previous acute optic neuritis were assessed using a binomial mixed-effects model. Results: Forty-eight patients with MS with (n = 19) or without (n = 29) past optic neuritis and 19 healthy controls were evaluated. Readers' agreement was strong (3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit: 0.85; 2D-T2-STIR: 0.90). The 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit scan-rescan intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.96-0.98; P<.001), indicating excellent reproducibility. Overall, 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit detected more than twice the demyelinating lesions (n=89) than 2D-T2-STIR (n=43) (OR = 2.7; 95% CI, 1.7-4.1; P<.001). In the intracranial anterior visual pathway segments, 33 of the 36 demyelinating lesions (91.7%) detected by 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit were not disclosed by 2D-T2-STIR. 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit increased detection of demyelinating lesion probability by 1.8-fold in patients with past optic neuritis (OR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2-3.1; P=.01) and 5.9-fold in patients without past optic neuritis (OR = 5.9; 95% CI, 2.5-13.8; P<.001). No false-positive demyelinating lesions were detected in healthy controls. Conclusions: Dedicated 3D-T2-STIR-ZOOMit images improved substantially the detection of MS disease dissemination in the anterior visual pathways, particularly in the intracranial segments and in patients without past optic neuritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1068
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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