Seven-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging: new vision of microvascular abnormalities in multiple sclerosis

Arch Neurol. 2008 Jun;65(6):812-6. doi: 10.1001/archneur.65.6.812.


Background: Although the role of vascular pathology in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions was suggested long ago, the derivation of these lesions from the vasculature has been difficult to assess in vivo. Ultrahigh-field (eg, 7-T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a tool for assessing vascular involvement in MS lesions owing to markedly increased image resolution and susceptibility contrast of venous blood.

Objective: To describe the perivenous association of MS lesions on high-resolution and high-contrast 7-T susceptibility-sensitive MRI.

Design: Case study.

Setting: University hospital.

Patients: Two women with clinically definite relapsing-remitting MS.

Results: We demonstrated markedly enhanced detection of unique microvascular involvement associated with most of the visualized MS lesions with abnormal signals on and around the venous wall on 7-T compared with 3-T MRI.

Conclusions: These findings, which have never been shown on conventional fields of MRI, not only allow for direct evidence of vascular pathogenesis in MS in vivo but also have important implications for monitoring lesion activity and therapeutic response.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends
  • Microcirculation / pathology
  • Microcirculation / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / pathology*