This is an article published in American journal of Neuroradiology which is available on the website at http://www.ajnr.org/cgi/reprint/19/4/685PURPOSE: We evaluated the intraobserver and interobserver variability in measuring long-term changes in the volume of brain lesions on 5- and 3-mm-thick MR sections in patients with multiple sclerosis. METHODS: Eighteen 18 patients were scanned on two separate occasions with a mean interval of 16.4 months between the two examinations. In each session, a scan with 24 contiguous 5-mm-thick axial sections and another with 40 contiguous 3-mm-thick axial sections was acquired consecutively without moving the patient. We assessed MR lesion load by using a semiautomated local thresholding technique. RESULTS: Lesion volume was significantly higher on images with 3-mm-thick sections than on those with 5-mm-thick sections both at baseline and at follow up. Significant increases in total lesion volume were observed during the follow-up period on images obtained with both 5- and 3-mm-thick sections. The intra- and interobserver variability in measurements of changes in lesion volume was significantly higher on images with 5-mm-thick sections than on those with 3-mm-thick sections. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that the acquisition of thinner sections increases the reliability of the assessment of changes in brain lesion load on MR images in patients with multiple sclerosis
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