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July 2015

Use of Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Techniques in Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder

Author Affiliations
  • 1ICube (UMR 7357, UdS, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Fédération de médecine translationelle de Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  • 2Department of Radiology, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  • 3Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Grenoble Image Parole Signal Automatique, Grenoble, France
  • 4CIEM MS Research Center, University of Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 5Department of Neurology, Oxford University Hospital Trust, Oxford, England
  • 6Department of Neurobiology, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
  • 7Department of Neurology, Vejle Hospital, Vejle, Denmark
  • 8Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston
  • 9Department of Neurology and Neurophysiology, National Pediatric Hospital Dr Juan P. Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 10Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 11Division of Child Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 12Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 13Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 14Department of Neurology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora
  • 15Department of Ophthalmology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora
  • 16Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 17Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi Sunyer–Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 18Department of Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
  • 19University Department of Medicine, Research Center of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
  • 20Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Research Section, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 21Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 22Neuroscience Center Zurich, Federal Technical High School Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 23University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 24NeuroCure Clinical Research Center, Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
  • 25Clinical and Experimental Multiple Sclerosis Research Center, Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
  • 26Department of Neurology, Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
  • 27Department of Neurology, Research Institute, Goyang, Korea
  • 28Hospital of National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 29Neurology Department, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  • 30Clinical Investigation Center (INSERM 1434), Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  • 31UMR INSERM 1119 and Fédération de médecine translationelle, Strasbourg, France
  • 32Institute of Neuroradiology, University Medicine Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(7):815-822. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.0248

Brain parenchymal lesions are frequently observed on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) spectrum disorder, but the specific morphological and temporal patterns distinguishing them unequivocally from lesions caused by other disorders have not been identified. This literature review summarizes the literature on advanced quantitative imaging measures reported for patients with NMO spectrum disorder, including proton MR spectroscopy, diffusion tensor imaging, magnetization transfer imaging, quantitative MR volumetry, and ultrahigh-field strength MRI. It was undertaken to consider the advanced MRI techniques used for patients with NMO by different specialists in the field. Although quantitative measures such as proton MR spectroscopy or magnetization transfer imaging have not reproducibly revealed diffuse brain injury, preliminary data from diffusion-weighted imaging and brain tissue volumetry indicate greater white matter than gray matter degradation. These findings could be confirmed by ultrahigh-field MRI. The use of nonconventional MRI techniques may further our understanding of the pathogenic processes in NMO spectrum disorders and may help us identify the distinct radiographic features corresponding to specific phenotypic manifestations of this disease.

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