In vivo voxel-based relaxometry in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

J Neurol. 2009 Jan;256(1):28-34. doi: 10.1007/s00415-009-0947-6. Epub 2009 Feb 16.


We applied voxel-based relaxometry (VBR) in 12 ALS patients and 12 matched healthy controls and compared the results with those of voxel-based morphometry (VBM). VBR revealed a reduced relaxation rate in the right precentral gyrus and ventral pons. Individual region of interest (ROI)-based analysis of R2 maps confirmed our VBR results. VBM depicted a reduction of white matter in the paracentral lobules and in the right middle cerebellar peduncle. Our data suggests that VBR and ROI analysis of R2 maps may have a higher sensitivity in detecting local tissue atrophy in the motor cortex and along the corticospinal tract than VBM. Larger prospective studies are necessary to evaluate the usefulness and relevance of VBR and ROI-based analysis of R2 maps in clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Atrophy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Disease Progression
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Cortex / pathology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / pathology*