The influence of slice orientation on brain MRI lesion load measurement in multiple sclerosis

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This study aimed at evaluating the influence of a different slice orientation on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) lesion load in multiple sclerosis (MS). Fifteen MS patients were scanned obtaining both axial and sagittal conventional spin echo (24 slices; TR 2400, TE 30/80) brain MRI. The total lesion load (TLL) was assessed twice for each scan, using a semi-automated local thresholding technique and the some marked hardcopies. The mean TLL was 22,734 mm3 for axial and 22,003 mm3 for sagittal scans. The mean intra-observer coefficient of variation (COV) was 4.65% for the axial acquisitions and 4.52% for the sagittal acquisitions. This difference was not statistically significant (one-way ANOVA, P > 0.1). The lesion load was significantly higher from axial MRI as compared to the intra-observer variability (two-way ANOVA, P = 0.01), but the fluctuations around this overage difference between axial and sagittal scan TLL were significantly large (test for interaction, P <0.001). Our data indicate that the use of sagittal conventional MRI scans does not seem to be worthwhile for the quantitative assessment of lesion load in MS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-384
Number of pages3
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Lesion load
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Reproducibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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