Longitudinal study of multiple sclerosis lesions using ultra-high field (7T) multiparametric MR imaging


  • S. Chawla
  • I. Kister
  • T. Sinnecker
  • J. Wuerfel
  • J.C. Brisset
  • F. Paul
  • Y. Ge


  • PLoS ONE


  • PLoS ONE 13 (9): e0202918


  • Pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions is dynamic and changes over time. The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the longitudinal changes in MS lesions over time on ultra-high field MR imaging. Nine patients with MS underwent high-resolution 3D-susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) and 2D-gradient-echo-T2*-weighted imaging on 7T MRI at baseline and after ~2.4 years of follow-up. Morphologic imaging characteristics, signal intensity patterns and quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) values of lesions were recorded at both time points. Lesions were classified as "iron-laden" if they demonstrated hypointense signal on T2*-weighted images and/or SWI as well as hyperintense signal on QSM. Lesions were considered "non-iron-laden" if they were hyperintense on T2*/SWI and isointense or hyperintense on QSM. Total of 162 non-iron-laden and 29 iron-laden lesions were observed at baseline. No change in baseline lesion size during follow up was recorded in 92.7%; no change in lesion-vessel relationship in 86.5%; and no change in signal intensity pattern in 96.9% of lesions. Three lesions which were non-iron-laden at baseline, exhibited iron at follow-up. In two iron-laden lesions, redistribution of iron content was observed at follow-up. Two-thirds of these iron-laden lesions showed an increase in QSM at follow-up relative to baseline, and the remaining one-third exhibited decrease in QSM. Most of the newly formed lesions (11/13, 84.6%) at follow-up were iron-laden. 7T multiparametric MRI is a useful tool for tracking the evolution of MS lesions, especially with regard to changes in iron content.