Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging towards clinical application in multiple sclerosis

MAGNIMS Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Quantitative MRI provides biophysical measures of the microstructural integrity of the CNS, which can be compared across CNS regions, patients, and centres. In patients with multiple sclerosis, quantitative MRI techniques such as relaxometry, myelin imaging, magnetization transfer, diffusion MRI, quantitative susceptibility mapping, and perfusion MRI, complement conventional MRI techniques by providing insight into disease mechanisms. These include: (i) presence and extent of diffuse damage in CNS tissue outside lesions (normal-appearing tissue); (ii) heterogeneity of damage and repair in focal lesions; and (iii) specific damage to CNS tissue components. This review summarizes recent technical advances in quantitative MRI, existing pathological validation of quantitative MRI techniques, and emerging applications of quantitative MRI to patients with multiple sclerosis in both research and clinical settings. The current level of clinical maturity of each quantitative MRI technique, especially regarding its integration into clinical routine, is discussed. We aim to provide a better understanding of how quantitative MRI may help clinical practice by improving stratification of patients with multiple sclerosis, and assessment of disease progression, and evaluation of treatment response.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2021

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