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Multislice brain myelin water fractions at 3T in multiple sclerosis

  • Author(s): Oh, Joonmi;
  • Han, Eric T.;
  • Lee, Michael C.;
  • Nelson, Sarah J.;
  • Pelletier, Daniel
  • et al.

Purpose. To evaluate a multislice nonlinearly-spaced 12-echo imaging sequence at 3T covering the supratentorial brain for the quantification of myelin water fraction (MWF) in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Methods. Eighty-nine patients with, or at risk of, MS (69 relapsing remitting MS [RRMS], 7 secondary progressive MS [SPMS], 13 clinically isolated syndrome [CIS]) and 28 controls were studied. Twelve-echo datasets were acquired using a multislice T2 prep spiral imaging sequence and were fitted using a nonnegative least squares algorithm. The mean MWF within normal appearing white matter (NAWM), contrast-enhancing (CE), and nonenhancing T2 lesions were calculated. Results. Mean MWF in white matter for controls was 11.3%. Mean MWF was significantly reduced in NAWM of MS patients (10.6%, P = .004) relative to controls. SPMS/RRMS patients with disease duration > 5 years (10.3%) had lower MWF compared to CIS/RRMS with disease duration <= 5 years (10.8%, P = .03). Mean MWF was reduced by 26% and 29% within both CE (P < .0001) and nonenhancing T2 lesions (P < .0001) relative to controls. Conclusions. Using a multicomponent T2 sequence at 3T, a significant decrease in the supratentorial MWF was observed in MS NAWM and lesions relative to controls. The method was sensitive to detect white matter changes early in the disease process.

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