News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 03, 2016

New MRI Technique Offers Faster Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

U.K. study uses T2-weighted imaging to identify brain white matter lesions centered on a vein

multiple sclerosis, MS, T2-weighted MRI, University of Nottingham study

February 3, 2016 — A new way of using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to look for evidence of multiple sclerosis in the brain has been successfully tested by researchers at The University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition which affects around 100,000 people in the United Kingdom. It is notoriously difficult to diagnose as it has many symptoms but not all sufferers experience all of them and the disease can progress at different rates. MRI scans have been used as a diagnostic tool to detect white matter lesions in the brain but these are not always an indicator of the disease.

Now a research team at Nottingham has found a way to use clinical MRI to distinguish between MS lesions and other brain white spots which are found in MS. The study is published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

They have used a clinical MRI scanner of the type all neuroscience centers have to carry out a special type of scan called a T2-weighted imaging process which is able to reveal lesions in the brain's white matter that are centered on a vein — a known indicator of MS.

Leading the work, Nikos Evangelou, M.D., said: "We already knew that large research MRI scanners could detect the proportion of lesions with a vein in the brain's white matter, but these scanners are not clinically available. So we wanted to find out whether a single brain scan in an NHS hospital scanner could also be effective in distinguishing between patients known to have MS and patients known to have non-MS brain lesions. We are excited to reveal that our results show that clinical application of this technique could supplement existing diagnostic methods for MS."

A total of 40 patients were recruited from the neurology outpatients' department of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Initially a test cohort of 10 patients with MS and 10 patients with non-MS white brain matter lesions were scanned. Anonymized scans were analyzed blinded to clinical data and simple diagnostic rules were devised. The same rules were applied to a validation cohort of 20 patients (13 with MS and 7 with other lesions) by a blinded observer.

Within the test cohort, all patients with MS had central veins in more than 45 percent of brain lesions, while the rest had central veins visible in less than 45 percent of lesions. Then, by applying the same diagnostic rules to the second cohort, all the remaining patients were correctly categorized into MS or non-MS, by the blinded observer, taking less than two minutes per scan.

The new study is significant because currently among patients referred to MS treatment centers with suspected MS, fewer than 50 percent are found to have it. This shows that diagnosing MS in a significant minority of cases can be challenging.

The Nottingham University team has now started a new study examining patients with real uncertainty about the diagnosis and aim to extend the study in other U.K. towns so more patients can participate. It is possible that in less than two years they will know if this new test is accurate as it appears to be.

The Nottingham team has already presented their data in the United States and a similar U.S.-based study is planned based on the Nottingham results.

For more information: www.msj.sagepub.com

Related Content

FDA Clears Advancements for Viewray MRIdian Radiation Therapy System
Technology | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | February 21, 2019
February 21, 2019 — ViewRay Inc. received 510(k) clearance from the U.S.
MRI and Computer Modeling Reveals How Wrist Bones Move

Using fast MRI, UC Davis researchers scanned left and right wrists of men and women and used the data to build computer models of the movement of wrist bones. The data could help understand wrist injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Image courtesy of Brent Foster and Abhijit Chaudhari, UC Davis.

News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 19, 2019
In a just-published Journal of Biomechanics article, the researchers proved a longtime assumption about individuals'...
Amazon Comprehend Medical Brings Medical Language Processing to Healthcare
News | Artificial Intelligence | February 15, 2019
Amazon recently announced Amazon Comprehend Medical, a new HIPAA-eligible machine learning service that allows...
Videos | Radiation Therapy | February 15, 2019
ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Vinai Gondi, M.D., director of research and CNS neuro-oncology at the
Siemens Healthineers Demonstrates Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare Digitalization at HIMSS19
News | Artificial Intelligence | February 13, 2019
February 13, 2019 — At the 2019 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) global conference and e
Videos | Angiography | February 08, 2019
This is an example of an arterial venous malformation (AVM) in the brain imaged on a...
Fujifilm Launches Latest Synapse 3D Version at HIMSS 2019

The new Intravoxel Incoherent Motion (IVIM) MR application in Synapse 3D

Technology | Advanced Visualization | February 08, 2019
Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. will debut the latest version of its Synapse 3D solution at the Healthcare Information...
Medtronic Recalls Synergy Cranial Software and Stealth Station S7 Cranial Software
News | Procedure Navigation Systems | February 05, 2019
Medtronic is recalling the Synergy Cranial Software and StealthStation S7 Cranial Software used with the StealthStation...
Study Assesses Risk of MRI Exams for Patients With Tattoos
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 01, 2019
A new European study concluded that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams pose little risk for people with tattoos,...
Stereotactic Radiotherapy Improves Long-Term Survival in Stage-IV Cancers
News | Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) | January 31, 2019
The first report from a phase II, multi-center clinical trial indicates stereotactic radiation can extend long-term...