T2 hypointensity in the deep gray matter of patients with benign multiple sclerosis

A. Ceccarelli, Massimo Filippi, M. Neema, A. Arora, P. Valsasina, M. A. Rocca, B. C. Healy, R. Bakshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gray matter (GM) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) T2 hypointensity, a putative marker of iron deposition, commonly occurs in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, GM T2 hypointensity in benign MS (BMS) has not yet been characterized. Objective: To determine the presence ofdeep GM T2 hypointensity in BMS, compare it to secondary progressive (SP) MS and assess its association with clinical and diffusion tensor (DT) MRI measures. Methods: Thirty-five cognitively unimpaired BMS, 26 SPMS patients, and 25 healthy controls were analyzed for normalized T2-intensity in the basal ganglia and thalamus, global T2 hyperintense lesion volume, global atrophy, and white matter and GM DT metrics. Results: BMS and SPMS patients showed deep GM T2 hypointensity compared with controls. T2 hypointensity was similar in both MS subgroups and moderately correlated (r = -0.45 to 0.42) with DT MRI metrics. GM T2 hypointensity in BMS showed a weak to moderate correlation (r = -0.44 to -0.35) with disability. Conclusions: GM in BMS is not spared from structural change including iron deposition. However, while T2 hypointensity is related to global tissue disruption reflected in DT MRI, the expression of benign versus non-benign MS is likely related to other factors. 2009.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-686
Number of pages9
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Benign multiple sclerosis
  • Diffusion tensor
  • EDSS
  • Gray matter T2 hypointensity
  • Iron deposition
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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