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.