Background and Purpose
Slowly expanding lesions (SELs) are thought to represent a subset of chronic active lesions and have been associated with clinical disability, severity, and disease progression. The purpose of this study was to characterize SELs using advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures related to myelin and neurite density on 7 Tesla (T) MRI.
The study design was retrospective, longitudinal, observational cohort with multiple sclerosis (n = 15). Magnetom 7T scanner was used to acquire magnetization-prepared 2 rapid acquisition gradient echo and advanced MRI including visualization of short transverse relaxation time component (ViSTa) for myelin, quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) for myelin, and neurite orientation dispersion density imaging (NODDI). SELs were defined as lesions showing ≥12% of growth over 12 months on serial MRI. Comparisons of quantitative measures in SELs and non-SELs were performed at baseline and over time. Statistical analyses included two-sample t-test, analysis of variance, and mixed-effects linear model for MRI metrics between lesion types.
A total of 1075 lesions were evaluated. Two hundred twenty-four lesions (21%) were SELs, and 216 (96%) of the SELs were black holes. At baseline, compared to non-SELs, SELs showed significantly lower ViSTa (1.38 vs. 1.53, p < .001) and qMT (2.47 vs. 2.97, p < .001) but not in NODDI measures (p > .27). Longitudinally, only ViSTa showed a greater loss when comparing SEL and non-SEL (p = .03).
SELs have a lower myelin content relative to non-SELs without a difference in neurite measures. SELs showed a longitudinal decrease in apparent myelin water fraction reflecting greater tissue injury.

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This post is Copyright: Mina M. Huerta,
Devon S. Conway,
Sarah M. Planchon,
Bhaskar Thoomukuntla,
Oh Se‐Hong,
Ken E. Sakaie,
Daniel Ontaneda,
Kunio Nakamura | May 23, 2024
Wiley: Journal of Neuroimaging: Table of Contents