The role of MRI in the diagnosis of MS

Clin Radiol. 2003 Jun;58(6):434-48. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9260(03)00089-8.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most widely used imaging technique in the investigation of multiple sclerosis (MS). Although MS remains a clinical diagnosis, MRI has become an invaluable tool in understanding and monitoring the disease, and is commonly used to confirm the clinical diagnosis. Various imaging techniques can be used but T2-weighted brain imaging remains the standard tool. The officially endorsed imaging criteria for MS places greater emphasis on the spatial and temporal distribution of lesions than on their individual appearance. This review focuses on the more typical findings in MS, and considers the current role of MRI in the diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Encephalomyelitis / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / etiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / pathology


  • Contrast Media