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MRI T2 shortening (‘black T2’) in multiple sclerosis: frequency, location, and clinical correlation

Bakshi, Rohit1,2,5; Shaikh, Zubair A.3; Janardhan, Vallabh4

Brain Imaging

Abnormal iron deposition occurs in the brains of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and may cause MRI T2 shortening (‘black T2'; BT2). The frequency, distribution and clinical significance of BT2 in MS is unknown. Analysis of brain MRI scans of 114 MS patients showed BT2 in thalamus (n = 65; 57%), putamen (n = 48; 42%), caudate (n = 27; 24%) and Rolandic cortex (n = 9; 8%). BT2 was significantly related to longer disease duration and advancing neurological disability. Wheelchair-bound patients had worse BT2 in thalamus (p < 0.05), putamen (p < 0.001) and Rolandic cortex (p < 0.05). Patients with secondary progressive disease (n = 34) had worse BT2 in thalamus, putamen and caudate (all p < 0.05) than those with relapsing-remitting disease (n = 80). BT2 is proposed as a clinically relevant finding relating to neuronal degeneration in MS.

1Imaging Services-Kaleida Health, University at Buffalo, Neuroscience Center E-2, State University of New York, 100 High St., Buffalo, NY 14203

2Department of Neurology, University at Buffalo, Neuroscience Center E-2, State University of New York, 100 High St., Buffalo, NY 14203

3Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

4Department of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA

5Corresponding Author and Address: Rohit Bakshi, Department of Neurology, University at Buffalo, Neuroscience Center E-2, State University of New York, 100 High St., Buffalo, NY 14203

Acknowledgements: This work was presented orally and published as an abstract [24] in preliminary form for the 1999 annual meeting of the American Neurological Association in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Received 25 August 1999; accepted 20 October 1999

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.