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September 1985

Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Other Techniques in the Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Kirshner and Tsai) and Radiology and Radiological Sciences (Drs Runge and Price), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(9):859-863. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060080037013

• We evaluated 35 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, evoked potential testing, and computed tomographic (CT) scanning. As classified by the McAlpine et al and McDonald and Halliday criteria, 27 patients had definite MS, three had probable MS, and five had possible MS. All of the patients had multiple white matter lesions detectable by MRI that were evident predominantly in the periventricular areas but also in the cerebral or cerebellar white matter. The severity of the MRI abnormality, as judged by the number and size of the lesions, correlated with the likelihood of a positive CT scan but not with the duration of disease, the degree of disability, or positive CSF oligoclonal banding. Magnetic resonance imaging successfully demonstrated brain-stem lesions in 15 patients (none were seen on CT scans). Magnetic resonance imaging seems to be a sensitive indicator of MS lesions, but clinical assessment will continue to be crucial to the diagnosis of MS.

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