SyMRI volumes robust at different resolutions

Patients with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis need regular follow-up MRI exams to monitor their disease progression.

“It’s recommended that patients with multiple sclerosis are scanned every 6 or 12 months, which must be very tiring,” explains Christina Andica, Neuroradiologist and PhD student at Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine. “We would therefore like to obtain faster scans to make the patients more comfortable.”

The study by Andica et al. (2017) investigated the validity of SyMRI brain volume measurements in 2 mm and 3 mm in-plane resolutions to decrease the MRI acquisition time (3 min 9 sec and 1 min 56 sec, respectively) and compared outcomes to their standard 0.8 mm in-plane resolution with an acquisition time of 7 min 24 sec.

The authors found no statistically significant differences in estimated white and grey matter (WM, GM), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), brain parenchymal fraction (BPF), intracranial (ICV) or myelin volumes between different in-plane resolutions.

The authors also assessed repeatability of the volumetric measurement by scanning each subject twice for each in-plane resolution. The volumetric measurements showed good reliability within each in-plane resolution.

The authors conclude that SyMRI volume measures are robust when using both low or standard in-plane resolutions and can thus be combined with short acquisition times that are needed in follow-up studies.

“At the moment we usually do the follow-up based on imaging to see if there are any new or enhanced lesions, but this is qualititative, not quantitative,” Dr Andica notes. “We know that MS patients also show some brain atrophy, so brain volumetry will be good for follow-up. An additional benefit of synthetic MRI is that we can obtain the myelin volumes. We know that demyelination is a major pathology for these patients, so we can now use that value.”

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