Gray Matter Alterations in Early and Late Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Evaluated with Synthetic Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Sci Rep. 2019 May 31;9(1):8147. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44615-3.


Extensive gray matter (GM) involvement has been demonstrated in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. This study was aimed to identify GM alterations in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients using synthetic quantitative MRI (qMRI). We assessed myelin volume fraction (MVF) in each voxel on the basis of R1 and R2 relaxation rates and proton density in 14 early and 28 late (disease duration ≤5 and >5 years, respectively) RRMS patients, and 15 healthy controls (HCs). The MVF and myelin volumes of GM (GM-MyVol) were compared between groups using GM-based spatial statistics (GBSS) and the Kruskal-Wallis test, respectively. Correlations between MVF or GM-MyVol and disease duration or expanded disability status scale were also evaluated. RRMS patients showed a lower MVF than HCs, predominantly in the limbic and para-limbic areas, with more extensive areas noted in late RRMS patients. Late-RRMS patients had the smallest GM-MyVol (20.44 mL; early RRMS, 22.77 mL; HCs, 23.36 mL). Furthermore, the GM-MyVol in the RRMS group was inversely correlated with disease duration (r = -0.43, p = 0.005). In conclusion, the MVF and MyVol obtained by synthetic qMRI can be used to evaluate GM differences in RRMS patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrophy / diagnostic imaging
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gray Matter / diagnostic imaging*
  • Gray Matter / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / diagnostic imaging*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / physiopathology
  • Myelin Sheath / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protons


  • Protons