Diffusion tensor imaging in the diagnosis of primary lateral sclerosis

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2004 Jan;19(1):34-9. doi: 10.1002/jmri.10433.


Purpose: To evaluate the utility of MR diffusion tensor imaging in diagnosing primary lateral sclerosis (PLS).

Materials and methods: Five patients who met clinical criteria for a diagnosis of PLS, and two patients with possible PLS of less than three years duration and eight normal volunteers were studied using MR diffusion tensor imaging.

Results: All seven patients showed decreased diffusion anisotropy and increased diffusion constant in the PLIC, with complete separation from a normal control group, including patients early in the course of the illness.

Conclusion: Quantitative diffusion tensor imaging appears to be a useful test to detect upper motor neuron damage and hence to help to establish the diagnosis of PLS.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anisotropy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neuron Disease / diagnosis*