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Comparison of Three MR Sequences for the Detection of Cervical Cord Lesions in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

By Maria A. Rocca, G. Mastronardo, Mark A. Horsfield, C. Pereira, G. Ianucci, B. Colombo, L. Moiola and Massimo Filippi


This is the version as published by American Society of Neuroradiolgy. It is available online at AND PURPOSE: Improving the sensitivity of MR imaging for the detection of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions in the cord might be useful in the diagnostic workup and could lead to a better understanding of the evolution of the disease. The purpose of this study was to compare fast spin-echo (FSE) with magnetization transfer–prepared gradient-echo (MT-GE) and fast short-inversion-time inversion recovery (fast-STIR) MR sequences to determine which is best for imaging cervical cord lesions in MS patients. \ud \ud METHODS: FSE, MT-GE, and fast-STIR MR images were obtained in 56 MS patients and 10 healthy control subjects with a 1.5-T MR system and a phased-array coil. Cord lesions seen on images obtained with each sequence were counted by two observers in two stages (stage 1: random review of the complete sets of images from each technique; stage 2: side-by-side review with a retrospective count of lesions). \ud \ud RESULTS: At the end of stage 1, a mean of 1.16 cord lesions per patient were seen on FSE images, 1.57 on MT-GE images (35% more than on FSE), and 1.92 on fast-STIR images (66% more than on FSE). Two or more cervical cord lesions were found on 16 FSE images (29%), 23 on MT-GE images (46%), and 30 on fast-STIR images (54%). Differences were reduced after stage 2: MT-GE detected 22% more lesions and fast-STIR 36% more lesions than FSE. Considering the three sequences together, 113 cervical cord lesions were seen in 50 patients (89%). \ud \ud CONCLUSION: Both MT-GE and fast-STIR sequences depict more cervical cord MS lesions than the FSE sequence, with fast-STIR having the best sensitivity. Fast-STIR MR images may be useful for the diagnostic workup of patients with suspected MS and for improving our understanding of the evolution of MS

Publisher: American Society of Neuroradiology
Year: 1999
OAI identifier:

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