The extent of brain atrophy was determined in 33 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and in 60 healthy subjects (21–76 years) by calculating brain parenchymal fractions (BPF, the ratio of brain parenchymal to intracranial volume) from 3D MRI. Within the normal data base, subjects at higher ages showed significantly lower BPF values. In younger MS patients, BPF was significantly decreased compared with age-matched controls (20–29 years, p = 0.0022; 30–39 years, p = 0.0001; 40–49 years, p = 0.0444) and was significantly correlated with disease duration and disease severity, but not with the number of detectable MS lesions. Determination of age-related BPF demonstrated significant brain atrophy in early MS and can be considered as a useful biological marker for monitoring MS.
Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Oberer Eselsberg 45, 89081 Ulm
1Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Ulm, Robert-Koch-Str. 8, 89081 Ulm, Germany
2Present address: Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Berne, Inselspital, 3010 Berne, Switzerland
CACorresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 4 December 2002; accepted 7 January 2003