Diffusion-weighted MR imaging in multiple sclerosis: comparison with contrast-enhanced study

Eur J Radiol. 1999 Sep;31(3):165-9. doi: 10.1016/s0720-048x(98)00131-4.


Objective: To assess the utility of cerebral diffusion-weighted MR imaging in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in comparison with contrast-enhanced T1-weighted imaging.

Methods and materials: We reviewed T2-weighted spin-echo (SE), fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR), contrast-enhanced T1-weighted SE and echo-planar diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) obtained in seven patients with definite MS on nine occasions.

Results: In total, 94 plaques were demonstrated on T2-weighted SE and/or FLAIR images. A total of 13 of these plaques showed enhancement on contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images and hyperintensity on DWIs, and five non-enhancing plaques showed hyperintensity on DWIs.

Conclusion: Diffusion-weighted imaging, which provides information based on pathophysiology different from contrast-enhanced imaging, is a potential supplementary technique for characterizing MS plaques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*