Magnetic Resonance Relaxometry in Multiple Sclerosis – T2 Relaxation Time Measurement in Central Gray Matter

Authors: A. Burgetová 1;  Z. Seidl 1,2;  M. Vaněčková 1;  J. Krásenský 1;  D. Horáková 3
Authors‘ workplace: Radiodiagnostická klinika 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 1;  Vyšší zdravotnická škola, Praha 2;  Neurologická klinika 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 3
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2010; 73/106(1): 26-31
Category: Original Paper


To establish the increased amount of iron deposits in central grey matter structures in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). MR relaxometry detects iron in normal-appearing grey matter, that is, in advance of any visible MRI manifestation of iron deposits, or T2 hypointensity. A further goal was to correlate T2 relaxation time to the volume of T2 hyperintense lesions-lesion load (LL).

Materials and method:
347 patients with clinically defined MS and 117 controls were examined with MRI, using gradient and spin echo sequence (GraSE) for the calculation of T2 relaxation time. The two cohorts were age- and sex-matched in T2 correlation. Further, the MS patients were divided into two subgroups according to LL (LL < 2 cm3: 140 patients, LL > 5 cm3: 80 patients) and were T2 correlated in these age-matched groups.

We established a statistically significant increase of iron deposits in ncl. caudatus bilaterally (left p = 0.004; right p = 0.033) and in left putamen (p = 0.006) in MS patients as opposed to healthy controls. Our measurements indicated no shortening of T2 in either thalamus. Correlation of LL with T2 demonstrated that in the group with LL < 2 cm3 the T2 shortening is statistically more significant than in patients with LL > 5 cm3 in putamen bilaterally (left p < 0.001; right p = 0.006).

There is an increase of iron deposits in the basal ganglia of MS patients in comparison with controls. Further, there is an increase of iron deposits in the basal ganglia of low LL patients in comparison with high LL patients. The changes of iron content in the brain support our hypothesis that there exists a neurodegenerative component in the disease.

Key words:
multiple sclerosis – iron deposit – magnetic resonance imaging –T2 relaxometry


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