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  Comparing MRI metrics to quantify white matter microstructural damage in multiple sclerosis

Lipp, I., Jones, D. K., Bells, S., Sgarlata, E., Foster, C., Stickland, R., et al. (2019). Comparing MRI metrics to quantify white matter microstructural damage in multiple sclerosis. Human Brain Mapping, 40(10), 2917-2932. doi:10.1002/hbm.24568.

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Lipp, Ilona1, 2, 3, Author              
Jones, Derek K.2, 4, Author
Bells, Sonya2, 5, Author
Sgarlata, Eleonora1, 6, Author
Foster, Catherine2, Author
Stickland, Rachael2, Author
Davidson, Alison E.1, 2, Author
Tallantyre, Emma C.1, 7, Author
Robertson, Neil P.1, 7, Author
Wise, Richard G.2, Author
Tomassini, Valentina1, 2, 7, Author
1Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
2Brain Research Imaging Centre, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2205649              
4Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia, ou_persistent22              
5Neurosciences and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, ON, Canada, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Human Neuroscience, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, ou_persistent22              
7Helen Durham Centre for Neuroinflammatory Disease, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Brain MRI; Diffusion; Lesions; Magnetisation transfer ratio; Multiple sclerosis; Myelin water fraction
 Abstract: Quantifying white matter damage in vivo is becoming increasingly important for investigating the effects of neuroprotective and repair strategies in multiple sclerosis (MS). While various approaches are available, the relationship between MRI‐based metrics of white matter microstructure in the disease, that is, to what extent the metrics provide complementary versus redundant information, remains largely unexplored. We obtained four microstructural metrics from 123 MS patients: fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), myelin water fraction (MWF), and magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR). Coregistration of maps of these four indices allowed quantification of microstructural damage through voxel‐wise damage scores relative to healthy tissue, as assessed in a group of 27 controls. We considered three white matter tissue‐states, which were expected to vary in microstructural damage: normal appearing white matter (NAWM), T2‐weighted hyperintense lesional tissue without T1‐weighted hypointensity (T2L), and T1‐weighted hypointense lesional tissue with corresponding T2‐weighted hyperintensity (T1L). All MRI indices suggested significant damage in all three tissue‐states, the greatest damage being in T1L. The correlations between indices ranged from r = 0.18 to r = 0.87. MWF was most sensitive when differentiating T2L from NAWM, while MTR was most sensitive when differentiating T1L from NAWM and from T2L. Combining the four metrics into one, through a principal component analysis, did not yield a measure more sensitive to damage than any single measure. Our findings suggest that the metrics are (at least partially) correlated with each other, but sensitive to the different aspects of pathology. Leveraging these differences could be beneficial in clinical trials testing the effects of therapeutic interventions.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-02-102018-12-102019-03-012019-03-192019-07-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.24568
Other: Epub 2019
PMID: 30891838
PMC: PMC6563497
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
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Funding organization : Medical Research Council (MRC)
Project name : -
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Funding program : -
Funding organization : Multiple Sclerosis Society
Project name : -
Grant ID : 104943/Z/14/Z
Funding program : Wellcome Trust Strategic Award
Funding organization : Wellcome Trust
Project name : -
Grant ID : 096646/Z/11/Z
Funding program : Wellcome Trust Investigator Award
Funding organization : Wellcome Trust

Source 1

Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: New York : Wiley-Liss
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 40 (10) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 2917 - 2932 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925601686