Imaging of Central Nervous System Demyelinating Disorders

Joshua P. Klein, Jan Mendelt Tillema

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE This article summarizes neuroimaging findings in demyelinating disease, the most common being multiple sclerosis. Revisions to criteria and treatment options have been ongoing, and MRI plays a pivotal role in diagnosis and disease monitoring. The common antibody-mediated demyelinating disorders with their respective classic imaging features are reviewed, as well as the differential diagnostic considerations on imaging. LATEST DEVELOPMENTS The clinical criteria of demyelinating disease rely heavily on imaging with MRI. With novel antibody detection, the range of clinical demyelinating syndromes has expanded, most recently with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-IgG antibodies. Imaging has improved our understanding of the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and disease progression, and further research is underway. The importance of increased detection of pathology outside of the classic lesions will have an important role as therapeutic options are expanding. ESSENTIAL POINTS MRI has a crucial role in the diagnostic criteria and differentiation among common demyelinating disorders and syndromes. This article reviews the typical imaging features and clinical scenarios that assist in accurate diagnosis, differentiation between demyelinating diseases and other white matter diseases, the importance of standardized MRI protocols in clinical practice, and novel imaging techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-323
Number of pages32
JournalCONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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