Future brain and spinal cord volumetric imaging in the clinic for monitoring treatment response in MS


  • T. Sinnecker
  • C. Granziera
  • J. Wuerfel
  • R. Schlaeger


  • Current Treatment Options in Neurology


  • Curr Treat Options Neurol 20 (6): 17


  • Purpose or review: Volumetric analysis of brain imaging has emerged as a standard approach used in clinical research, e.g., in the field of multiple sclerosis (MS), but its application in individual disease course monitoring is still hampered by biological and technical limitations. This review summarizes novel developments in volumetric imaging on the road towards clinical application to eventually monitor treatment response in patients with MS. Recent findings: In addition to the assessment of whole-brain volume changes, recent work was focused on the volumetry of specific compartments and substructures of the central nervous system (CNS) in MS. This included volumetric imaging of the deep brain structures and of the spinal cord white and gray matter. Volume changes of the latter indeed independently correlate with clinical outcome measures especially in progressive MS. Ultrahigh field MRI and quantitative MRI added to this trend by providing a better visualization of small compartments on highly resolving MR images as well as microstructural information. New developments in volumetric imaging have the potential to improve sensitivity as well as specificity in detecting and hence monitoring disease-related CNS volume changes in MS.