Multisequence-imaging protocols to detect cortical lesions of patients with multiple sclerosis: Observations from a post-mortem 3 Tesla imaging study

Francesca Bagnato, Bing Yao, Fredric Cantor, Hellmut Merkle, Ellen Condon, Marcela Montequin, Sandra Moore, Martha Quezado, Deborah Tkaczyk, Henry McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Neocortical lesions (NLs) are an important component of multiple sclerosis (MS) pathology and may account for part of the physical and cognitive disability. Visualizing NLs of patients with MS using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) poses several significant challenges. We optimized the inversion time (TI) of T1-based magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient-echo (MPRAGE) images by suppressing the signal of the lesions and enhancing their appearance as hypointensities, on the basis of the derived quantitative T1 measurements. The latter were achieved by the means of 2D inversion recovery fast spin echo (IR-FSE), repeated using different inversion times (TI). Comparisons of detection of NLs by MPRAGE and dual echo T2 weighted (T2W) and proton density (PD) W. Four coronal brain slices from a deceased MS patient and two coronal brain slices from two formerly healthy donors were imaged using a 3 Tesla magnet (3 T) equipped with a multi-channel coil. Based upon the averaged T1 values computed from the MS specimen as well as visual inspection, an optimal TI of 380 ms was selected for the MPRAGE image. No NLs were seen in the specimens of the two healthy donors. Of the 40 total NLs observed, 8 (20%) were visible in all three sequences employed. Three (7.5%) NLs were visible only in the PDW image and 5 (12.5%) were seen only in the T2W image. Four NLs (10%) had clearly unique conspicuity in the MPRAGE image. Of those, 3 were retrospectively scored in the PDW image (1 NL) or in the T2W image (2 NLs). We conclude that for the detection of MS-related NLs, high-resolution T1-based MPRAGE and T2-W images offer complementary information and the combination of the two image sequences is crucial for increasing the sensitivity of detecting MS-induced NLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-Tesla MRI
  • Cortical lesions
  • Inflammation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Post-mortem imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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