Multiple system atrophy. Clinical and MR observations on 42 cases

Ital J Neurol Sci. 1993 Apr;14(3):211-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02335661.


Probable or possible multiple system atrophy (MSA) was diagnosed on strict clinical criteria in 42 patients: 20 with combined parkinsonism and cerebellar ataxia, 9 with striatonigral degeneration (SND) and 13 with olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA). All patients were then studied with 0.5 and/or 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance (MR) units. MR imaged putaminal abnormalities in all 9 patients with SND and posterior fossa abnormalities consistent with OPCA in all 13 patients with this diagnosis. Of the 20 patients with parkinsonism and cerebellar involvement, classified as probable MSA, 7 presented putaminal abnormalities only, 3 abnormalities consistent with OPCA only and 10 a combination of both. These findings show strong MRI support for the clinical diagnosis of MSA.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Corpus Striatum*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Shy-Drager Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Substantia Nigra*