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Quantitative assessment of MRI lesion load in multiple sclerosis. A comparison of conventional spin-echo with fast fluid-attenuated inversion recovery

Item Type:Article
Title:Quantitative assessment of MRI lesion load in multiple sclerosis. A comparison of conventional spin-echo with fast fluid-attenuated inversion recovery
Creators Name:Filippi, M. and Yousry, T. and Baratti, C. and Horsfield, M.A. and Mammi, S. and Becker, C. and Voltz, R. and Spuler, S. and Campi, A. and Reiser, M.F. and Comi, G.
Abstract:In this study, we compared a fast fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (fast-FLAIR) sequence to conventional spin-echo (CSE) in the evaluation of brain MRI lesion loads of seven patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis. Interleaved CSE (3000/20, 5 mm contiguous axial slices) and fast-FLAIR (9000/150/2200, 5 mm contiguous axial slices) sequences were performed on a 1.0 T machine. Lesions were counted consensually by two observers and then segmented independently by two other observers using a local thresholding technique, with subsequent manual editing in the case of poorly defined lesions. Four hundred and two lesions were detected in at least one of the two sequences: 128 were seen only on fast-FLAIR, 17 only on CSE. Forty-one lesions were larger on fast-FLAIR, while no lesion was considered larger on CSE. The numbers of periventricular (P = 0.05), cortical/subcortical (P = 0.02) and discrete (P = 0.05) lesions detected using fast-FLAIR were higher than those detected using CSE. The median lesion load was 7185 mm3 on CSE and 8418 mm3 on the fast-FLAIR, the average being 18% (range = 11.6-29%) higher on the fast-FLAIR images. Lesion contrast ratio was higher for lesions on the fast-FLAIR than on the CSE sequence (P < 0.0001). The percentages of poorly defined lesions which needed manual editing after the local thresholding technique was applied and the total time needed for the measurements were lower (P < 0.001) when fast-FLAIR images were used compared with CSE. This resulted in a reduced inter-rater coefficient of variation in measuring lesion volumes. Our data indicate that fast-FLAIR sequences are more sensitive than CSE in detecting multiple sclerosis lesion burden and that fast-FLAIR is a promising technique for natural history studies and clinical trials in multiple sclerosis.
Keywords:Multiple Sclerosis, MRI, Lesion Volumes, Conventional Spin-Echo, Fast Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery
Source:Brain
ISSN:0006-8950
Publisher:Oxford University Press (U.K.)
Volume:119
Number:4
Page Range:1349-1355
Date:August 1996
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/119.4.1349
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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