Fully automated detection of paramagnetic rims in multiple sclerosis lesions on 3T susceptibility-based MR imaging

Carolyn Lou, Pascal Sati, Martina Absinta, Kelly Clark, Jordan D. Dworkin, Alessandra M. Valcarcel, Matthew K. Schindler, Daniel S. Reich, Elizabeth M. Sweeney, Russell T. Shinohara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: The presence of a paramagnetic rim around a white matter lesion has recently been shown to be a hallmark of a particular pathological type of multiple sclerosis lesion. Increased prevalence of these paramagnetic rim lesions is associated with a more severe disease course in MS, but manual identification is time-consuming. We present APRL, a method to automatically detect paramagnetic rim lesions on 3T T2*-phase images. Methods: T1-weighted, T2-FLAIR, and T2*-phase MRI of the brain were collected at 3T for 20 subjects with MS. The images were then processed with automated lesion segmentation, lesion center detection, lesion labelling, and lesion-level radiomic feature extraction. A total of 951 lesions were identified, 113 (12%) of which contained a paramagnetic rim. We divided our data into a training set (16 patients, 753 lesions) and a testing set (4 patients, 198 lesions), fit a random forest classification model on the training set, and assessed our ability to classify paramagnetic rim lesions on the test set. Results: The number of paramagnetic rim lesions per subject identified via our automated lesion labelling method was highly correlated with the gold standard count per subject, r = 0.86 (95% CI [0.68, 0.94]). The classification algorithm using radiomic features classified lesions with an area under the curve of 0.82 (95% CI [0.74, 0.92]). Conclusion: This study develops a fully automated technique, APRL, for the detection of paramagnetic rim lesions using standard T1 and FLAIR sequences and a T2*phase sequence obtained on 3T MR images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102796
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuroimaging
  • Paramagnetic rim lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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