Investigation of outer cortical magnetisation transfer ratio abnormalities

Diagnosis, monitoring and biomarkers:
This study group looked at the magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) to investigate outer cortical abnormalities in MS patients. The study included 44 patients with relapsing remitting MS, 25 secondary progressive MS (SPMS), 19 primary progressive MS (PPMS) and 35 healthy control subjects.

The MTR data from the cortex was segmented and subdivided into outer and inner bands, with the MTR values calculated for each band. The results showed that the mean outer cortical MTR value was lower than the mean inner cortical MTR value in all MS groups and controls.

The researchers found that the outer cortical MTR was decreased in SPMS and RRMS, but not in PPMS, compared to controls. Outer cortical MTR was lower in SPMS than in PPMS and RRMS. The lower outer cortical MTR values in SPMS patients are likely due to more extensive cortical pathology (demyelination and neuronal loss), as seen in post-mortem studies of SPMS patients. The lower MTR values seen in the inner cortical band in healthy controls are likely to reflect differences in myelin content.

Authors: Samson RS, Cardoso MJ
Source: Mult Scler. 2014 Feb 19 [Epub ahead of print]
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