Author Of 2 Presentations
P0627 - Quantitative T1 changes relate to infratentorial pathology in early multiple sclerosis. (ID 1844)
The presence of infratentorial lesions early in the disease has been shown to have prognostic value for future disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). Quantitative imaging metrics such as T1 relaxometry might contribute to understanding the relationship between supratentorial (ST), infratentorial (IT), and spinal cord (SC) pathology.
Our aim was to explore the association between ST, IT and SC pathology and microstructural tissue alterations assessed with T1 relaxometry in T2-hyperintense lesions as well as cerebral and cerebellar normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) in patients with recently diagnosed MS with- and without IT lesions.
Microstructural tissue alterations were assessed in 42 patients (mean age 33.6±8.0 years, median MS duration 0.2 years (0-2.3)) as deviations from normative T1 times, both obtained from the MP2RAGE sequence at 3T (MAGNETOM Skyra, Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany). The normative T1 values were voxel-wise modelled via a study-specific atlas based on spatially normalized data from 102 healthy individuals (21-59 years). Relationship between normalized IT volumes (mesencephalon, pons, medulla oblongata, cerebellum), SC volume, ST and IT lesion loads estimated by the Morphobox prototype, Scanview and LemanPV prototype, respectively and the deviations from normative T1 times expressed as z-score-derived metrics (volumes and means of voxels with z-scores above z-score 2 and below z-score 2) in lesions, cerebral and cerebellar NAWM were studied by partial correlations adjusted for age and brain lesion volume.
Patients with IT lesions (n=23, 33.0±8.5 years) had larger lesion load, higher volumes of voxels with positive z-scores (> 2), higher mean of z-scores above 2 in lesions, and larger thalami than patients without IT lesions (n=19, 34.3±7.7 years). The remaining volumes and z-scores derived metrics did not differ between groups. Cerebellar volume correlated negatively with volume of voxels with negative z-scores (< 2) in cerebellar NAWM (partial correlation coefficient r=-.437, p=.005) only in patients with IT lesions. In patients without IT lesions, SC and pons volumes correlated negatively with volume of voxels with positive z-scores corresponding to areas of supratentorial T2 lesions (SC: r=-.669, p=.003, pons: r=-0.606, p=0.01).
Microstructural alterations identified as T1 z-scores relate differently to IT and SC volumes in MS patients with and without IT lesions. In the presence of IT lesions, changes in cerebellar NAWM (T1 shortening relative to healthy controls) are associated with lower cerebellar volume. In the absence of IT lesions, the association of cerebellar NAWM and cerebellar volume is not present. In patients without IT lesions, microstructural alterations in ST lesions (T1 prolongation) that might indicate the extent of tissue damage in lesions, are associated with lower pontine and SC volumes regardless of the T2 lesion load.
P0628 - Quantitative T1 deviations in brain lesions and NAWM improve the clinico-radiological correlation in early MS (ID 763)
Although conventional MRI acquisitions are of essence in the monitoring of MS, they show low specificity towards the microstructural nature of tissue alterations and exhibit rather low correlations with clinical metrics (“clinico-radiological paradox”). Conversely, recent advances in brain relaxometry allow characterizing microstructural alterations on a single-subject basis; the question yet remains whether such quantitative measurements can help bridging the gap between radiological and clinical findings.
This study investigates whether automatically assessed alterations of T1 relaxation times in brain lesions and normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) improve clinico–radiological correlations in early MS with respect to conventional measures.
102 healthy controls (65% female, [21-59] y/o) and 50 early-MS patients (76% female, [19-52] y/o) underwent MRI at 3T (MAGNETOM Skyra, Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany). The employed 3D protocol comprised MPRAGE, FLAIR (both used for lesion segmentation as in [Fartaria et al., 2017, MICCAI]), and MP2RAGE for T1 mapping.
After the healthy controls’ data were spatially normalized into a study-specific template, reference T1 values in healthy tissues were established by linear, voxel-wise modelling of the T1 inter-subject variability [Piredda et al., MRM, 2020]. In the MS cohort, T1 deviations from the established references were calculated as z-score maps.
Correlations between the EDSS and conventional measures, i.e. lesion volume and count, were compared against correlations with z-score-derived metrics in lesions and NAWM, namely the volume of voxels exceeding a given z-score threshold.
Correlations between EDSS and lesion volume and count were found to be 0.23 and 0.18, respectively. Higher correlations were found between EDSS and the volume of voxels exceeding an absolute z-score threshold of 2, both in lesions and NAWM, with ρ=0.3 and ρ=0.33, respectively. Correlation further improved when considering only negative z-scores, ρ=0.36 for lesions and ρ=0.39 for NAWM. The highest correlation was found when considering absolute z-scores in the occipital lobe NAWM, ρ=0.47.
Microstructural alterations identified as T1 z-scores were found to improve clinico–radiological correlation in comparison to conventional measures (lesion volume and count). Of notice, negative z-scores (i.e. abnormal T1 shortening), which may be due to an increase in iron content, appear to be a potential predictor for the clinical state of an early MS patient.