Although post-mortem studies have shown that lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS) can be detected in the basal ganglia, conventional T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is poorly sensitive for detecting such abnormalities. This study was performed to investigate whether magnetization transfer (MT) and diffusion tensor MR imaging are able to detect in vivo basal ganglia changes in patients with MS. After image coregistration, MT ratio (MTR) and mean diffusivity (D̄) maps were obtained and MTR and D̄ values of the putamen, head of the caudatus and thalamus measured from 31 patients with clinically definite MS and 14 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers using region of interest analysis. Although we found slightly decreased MTR and increased D̄ in the basal ganglia from patients compared to controls, suggesting increased extra-cellular water and reduced amount of 'barriers' restricting water molecular motion in the basal ganglia of patients with MS, none of the differences was statistically significant. These data suggest that the more sophisticated MR probes of tissue disruption and cellular integrity are no more sensitive than current conventional imaging for detecting basal ganglia abnormalities in patients with MS.
- Basal ganglia
- Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) MR imaging
- Magnetization transfer imaging (MTI)
- Multiple sclerosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Neuroscience