WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have peripheral nerve involvement that can be visualized and quantified by high-resolution magnetic resonance neurography (MRN), according to a study published online Oct. 10 in the Annals of Neurology.
Johann M.E. Jende, M.D., from Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany, and colleagues compared 36 patients diagnosed with MS with and without disease-modifying treatment to 35 healthy age- and sex-matched volunteers. All patients underwent detailed neurological and electrophysiological examinations, and 3 Tesla MRN was performed.
The researchers found that all MS patients had T2w-hyperintense nerve lesions, with a mean lesion number at thigh level of 151.5±5.7 versus 19.1±2.4 in controls. Compared with controls, MS patients had higher nerve proton-spin-density (tibial/peroneal: 371.8±7.7/368.9±8.2 versus 266±11/276.8±9.7). Controls had significantly higher T2-relaxation time (tibial/peroneal: 82±2.1/78.3±1.7 versus 64.3±1/61.2±0.9). Compared with controls, MS patients had higher proximal tibial (52.4±2.1 versus 45.2±1.4 mm²) and peroneal nerve caliber (25.4±1.3 versus 21.3±0.7 mm²).
“Peripheral nerve lesions could be visualized and quantified in MS in vivo by high-resolution MRN,” the authors write. “By showing involvement of the peripheral nervous system in MS, this proof-of-concept study may offer new insights into the pathophysiology and treatment of MS.”
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals partially funded the study, and one author disclosed financial ties to Siemens Healthcare.
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