Segmentation of magnetization transfer ratio lesions for longitudinal analysis of demyelination and remyelination in MS

In this study from Canada, they demonstrate novel techniques for quantifying MTR (magnetization transfer ratio), by identifying focal areas of MTR decrease (MTR lesions) directly on paired MTR images. They quantified MTR changes in both MTR lesions and Gd lesions, and demonstrate the ability of these methods to assess the extent of demyelination and remyelination in vivo. The technique was used on subjects with rapidly progressing MS before and after treatment with immunoablation and autologous stem cell transplant.

Results from the study showed that subjects who improved clinically after treatment showed significantly improved MTR recovery in lesions that were recovering during treatment. Those that remained clinically stable after treatment showed significantly poorer MTR recovery. The results from this study, suggest the longitudinal measurement of MTR and cumulative changes in MTR lesions may be an important technique for quantifying treatment effects on remyelination in clinical trials.

Authors: Brown RA, Narayanan S, Arnold DL.

Neuroimage. 2012 Oct 27 [Epub ahead of print]

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