Imaging Poster Presentation

P0617 - Predicting Disease Progression in Multiple Sclerosis from Clinical Routine T2-FLAIR MRI (ID 1670)

  • T. Fuchs
  • T. Fuchs
  • M. Dwyer
  • D. Jakimovski
  • N. Bergsland
  • D. Ramasamy
  • B. Weinstock-Guttman
  • R. Benedict
  • R. Zivadinov
Presentation Number
Presentation Topic



Although quantitative measures from research-quality MRI relate well to clinical outcomes in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), these metrics are largely unavailable in clinical settings.


To determine how well a quantitative snapshot of brain pathology, measured on routine clinical T2-FLAIR MRI, relates to standard research-quality MRI, clinical disability, and clinical progression over mid-term.


This retrospective study of prospectively collected data was approved by the local Institutional Review Board. 3T MRI was acquired for 172 PwMS at baseline and neurologic disability was assessed at baseline and five-years later. Five measures (thalamus volume, lateral ventricle volume, medulla oblongata volume, lesion volume, and network efficiency) for quantifying disparate aspects of brain pathology from low-resolution T2-FLAIR were applied to predict similar measures obtained from research-quality MRI and associated with neurologic disability and disease progression over five years.


The combination of the five T2-FLAIR measures explained most of the variance in standard research-quality MRI, including T2-lesion volume (R2=0.97, p<0.001) and thalamus volume (R2=0.90, p<0.001). T2-FLAIR measures (R2=0.279, p<0.001; R2=0.382, p<0.001) were associated with neurologic disability and cognitive function five-years later, similar to standard research-quality MRI (R2=0.279, p<0.001; R2=0.366, p<0.001). They also similarly predicted disability progression over five years (%-correctly-classified=69.8, R2=0.145, p=0.034), compared to standard research-quality MRI (%-correctly-classified=72.4%, R2=0.196, p=0.022) in relapsing-remitting MS.


T2-FLAIR measures explained considerable variance of standard research-quality MRI, correlated with neurologic disability, and predicted progression of disability over five years. Quantifying brain pathology at a single time-point with clinical-quality T2-FLAIR can be useful in clinical settings.