Diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance imaging detects normal-appearing white matter damage unrelated to short-term disease activity in patients at the earliest clinical stage of multiple sclerosis

Antonio Gallo, Marco Rovaris, Roberta Riva, Angelo Ghezzi, Beatrice Benedetti, Vittorio Martinelli, Andrea Falini, Giancarlo Comi, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Diffusion-tensor (DT) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has the potential to elucidate some characteristics of tissue microstructure inaccessible to other MRI techniques. Objective: To investigate whether normal-appearing brain tissue abnormalities occur in patients with multiple sclerosis at the earliest clinical stage and whether their severity is predictive of a short-term disease evolution by using DT MRI. Design: Forty-five patients and 22 healthy control subjects were studied. All patients had had a clinically isolated syndrome within the 3 months preceding study enrollment and paraclinical evidence of disease dissemination in space. During a single session, dual-echo, pulsed-gradient spin-echo echo-planar, and post-gadolinium T1-weighted images of the brain were obtained from each subject. In patients, dual-echo and enhanced images were obtained after 3 and 12 months, to detect MRI signs of disease dissemination in time. An on-study neurological examination was also conducted to ascertain the occurrence of clinical relapses. Mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy maps were derived from DT images. Normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and normal-appearing gray matter mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy histograms were produced and analyzed. Results: During the study period, 29 patients showed MRI evidence of disease dissemination in time. When compared with healthy controls, patients showed higher average NAWM mean diffusivity (P=.01), lower average NAWM mean diffusivity peak height (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-808
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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