Selective caudate atrophy in multiple sclerosis: a 3D MRI parcellation study

Neuroreport. 2003 Mar 3;14(3):335-9. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200303030-00008.


Deep gray matter damage may be an important component of the multiple sclerosis (MS) disease process. We tested whether caudate atrophy occurs in MS, and whether it correlates with conventional MRI or clinical markers of disease progression. Caudate nuclei of 24 MS patients and 10 age-matched healthy controls were traced, normalized, reconstructed and visualized from MRI scans. Normalized bicaudate volume was 19% lower in MS controls ( p< 0.001), an effect that persisted after adjusting for whole-brain atrophy ( p< 0.008). Caudate volume did not correlate with disease duration, physical disability score, whole-brain atrophy, or total T2 hyperintense or T1 hypointense lesion load (all p > 0.05). We conclude that selective caudate atrophy is associated with MS and may occur through direct mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrophy
  • Caudate Nucleus / pathology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / physiopathology
  • Reference Values