Normal-appearing white matter in multiple sclerosis has heterogeneous, diffusely prolonged T2

Kenneth P. Whittall, Alex L. MacKay, David K.B. Li, Irene M. Vavasour, Craig K. Jones, Donald W. Paty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


T2 relaxation in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients was reexamined using more complete sampling and analysis of decay curves, and to assess focal vs. diffuse abnormalities. Nine MS patients and 10 controls were scanned using a single-slice 32-echo pulse sequence with a 10-ms echo spacing, Decay curves from outlined white and gray matter structures were analyzed using non-negative least-squares (NNLS). Resulting T2 distributions were each summarized by the geometric mean T2, T2. Different white matter structures had different mean (over the subjects in a group) T2. Mean T2 in NAWM was always greater than that of controls. Differences were not caused by a few voxels with extreme T2 (i.e., focal lesions), but rather by shifts of the entire T2 distribution (diffuse prolongation). This T2 increase suggests diffuse myelin or axonal pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-408
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Diffusely prolonged
  • Human brain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • T relaxation
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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