BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Cortical lesions are common and often extensive in multiple sclerosis but are difficult to visualize by MRI, leaving important questions about their clinical implications and response to therapy unanswered. Our aim was to determine whether cortical lesions are better visualized using magnetization prepared 2 rapid acquisition gradient echoes (MP2RAGE) than T2-weighted imaging on 7T MR imaging. MATERIALSANDMETHODS: BrainMRimaging using T1-weighted MP2RAGE at 500-≥misotropic resolution, T2-weighted gradient-echo, and T2-weighted segmented echo-planar imaging sequences were collected for 13 patients with MS and 5 age-matched neurologically healthy controls on a 7T research system. One MS case underwent postmortem MR imaging including gradient-echo and MP2RAGE sequences, after which cortical lesions seen on MR imaging were assessed with immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: MP2RAGE detected 203 cortical lesions (median, 16 lesions/case; interquartile range, 15), compared to 92 with T2gradient-echo (median, 7; interquartile range, 8; P < .001) and 81 with T2-EPI (median, 7; interquartile range, 5; P < .001). This increase in lesion number detected on MP2RAGE versus T2-was observed for juxtacortical, leukocortical, and intracortical lesions. Forty-three percent of all cortical lesions were identified only on MP2RAGE. White matter lesion volume correlated with total juxtacortical (r 0.86, P < .001) and leukocortical lesion volume (r 0.70, P < .01) but not intracortical lesion volume, suggesting that pathophysiology may differ by lesion type. Of 4 suspected lesions seen on postmortem imaging, 3 were found to be true cortical lesions while 1 represented postmortem tissue damage. CONCLUSIONS: A combination of MP2RAGE and T2-weighted imaging at 7T improved detection of cortical lesions and should enable longitudinal studies to elucidate their spatiotemporal dynamics and clinical implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology