MRI in the Diagnosis and Followup of Multiple Sclerosis – pro

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain is useful in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), because it is an inflammatory, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system (CNS) that MRI can visualize. Therefore, the activity of the disease can be quantified and tracked over time, with treatment. White matter tracts are affected, including those of the upper brain, lower brain, and spinal cord. MS lesions, known as plaques, may form in white matter in any location; thus, clinical symptoms  may be diverse depending on where in the brain or spinal cord the disease is most active. MRI can identify the activity and explain the symptoms. MRI was widely used to in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and increasingly in follow-up. At the same time, it was not entirely clear how to use MRI. A consensus meeting was convened in 2008 to review and update the guidelines. The new guidelines incorporate new information and practice recommendations that will benefit patients and will be useful for
physicians and care providers. This consensus recommends a for a baseline evaluation for patients with a Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) and suspected MS. A Brain MRI with gadolinium, a Spinal Cord MRI if there is persisting uncertainty about the diagnosis and/or the findings on Brain MRI are equivocal should be performed, as well as a Spinal Cord MRI if presenting symptoms or signs are at the level of the spinal cord.

Consortium of MS Centers MRI Protocol for the Diagnosis and Followup of MS 2009 REVISED GUIDELINES

Diffusion MR imaging in multiple sclerosis: technical aspects and challenges. AJNR 2007;28:411-420.

Stankiewicz JM, Glanz BI, Healy BC, Arora A, Neema M, Benedict RH, et al. Brain MRI Lesion Load at 1.5T and 3T versus Clinical Status in Multiple Sclerosis. J Neuroimaging. Nov 3 2009

Jordan JE, Wippold FJ II, Cornelius RS, Amin-Hanjani S, Brunberg JA, Davis PC, De La Paz RL, Dormont D, Germano I, Gray L, Mukherji SJ, Seidenwurm DJ, Sloan MA, Turski PA, Zimmerman RD, Zipfel GJ, Expert Panel on Neurologic Imaging. ACR Appropriateness Criteria® headache. [online publication]. Reston (VA): American College of Radiology (ACR); 2009. 8 p. [51 references]

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