Dark rims: Novel sequence enhances diagnostic specificity in multiple sclerosis

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4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The 2010 McDonald criteria are designed to sensitively detect MS; however, the low specificity of these criteria can occasionally lead to the misdiagnosis of MS. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a novel double inversion recovery MR imaging technique has the potential to increase the specificity of diagnostic criteria distinguishing MS from non-MS white matter lesions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional observational study. MR imaging data were acquired between 2011 and 2016. A novel double inversion recovery sequence that suppresses CSF and GM signal was used (GM-double inversion recovery). We compared WM lesions in a group of patients with multiple sclerosis and in a second group of positive controls with white matter lesions who did not have a diagnosis of MS. The presence of a rim on the GM-double inversion recovery MR imaging sequence was combined with the 2001 and 2010 McDonald disseminated-in-space criteria. Multiple MR imaging markers, including lesion location, size, and the presence of a rim, were compared between groups as well as a quantitative measure of lesion T1 hypointensity. RESULTS: MR images from 107 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (median age, 32 years) and 36 positive control (median age, 39 years) subjects were analyzed. No significant differences were found in age and sex. In patients with MS, 1120/3211 lesions (35%) had a rim on GM-double inversion recovery; the positive control group had only 9/893 rim lesions (1%). Rims were associated with a decrease in the lesion T1 ratio. Using the 2010 MR imaging criteria plus the presence of rims on GM-double inversion recovery, we achieved 78% and 97% specificity in subjects with 1 and 2 rim lesions, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of a novel GM-double inversion recovery technique enhanced specificity for diagnosing MS compared with established MR imaging criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1058
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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