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Individual assessment of brain tissue changes in MS and the effect of focal lesions on short-term focal atrophy development in MS: A voxel-guided morphometry study

: Fox, J.; Kraemer, M.; Schormann, T.; Dabringhaus, A.; Hirsch, J.; Eisele, P.; Szabo, K.; Weiss, C.; Amann, M.; Weier, K.; Naegelin, Y.; Kappos, L.; Gass, A.

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International journal of molecular sciences 17 (2016), Nr.4, Art. 489, 14 S.
ISSN: 1422-0067
ISSN: 1661-6596
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

We performed voxel-guided morphometry (VGM) investigating the mechanisms of brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis (MS) related to focal lesions. VGM maps detect regional brain changes when comparing 2 time points on high resolution T1-weighted (T1w) magnetic resonace imaging (MRI). Two T1w MR datasets from 92 relapsing-remitting MS patients obtained 12 months apart were analysed with VGM. New lesions and volume changes of focal MS lesions as well as in the surrounding tissue were identified by visual inspection on colour coded VGM maps. Lesions were dichotomized in active and inactive lesions. Active lesions, defined by either new lesions (NL) (volume increase >5% in VGM), chronic enlarging lesions (CEL) (pre-existent T1w lesions with volume increase >5%), or chronic shrinking lesions (CSL) (pre-existent T1w lesions with volume reduction >5%) in VGM, were accompanied by tissue shrinkage in surrounding and/ or functionally related regions. Volume loss within the corpus callosum was highly correlated with the number of lesions in its close proximity. Volume loss in the lateral geniculate nucleus was correlated with lesions along the optic radiation. VGM analysis provides strong evidence that all active lesion types (NL, CEL, and CSL) contribute to brain volume reduction in the vicinity of lesions and/ or in anatomically and functionally related areas of the brain.