Thursday, 7 March 2013

Research NMO Not around blood vessels

Epub: Kister et al. Ultrahigh-Field MR (7 T) Imaging of Brain Lesions in Neuromyelitis Optica.Mult Scler Int. 2013;2013:398259. doi: 10.1155/2013/398259.

Background. Brain lesions are common in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOsd) and may resemble lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS). 

Objectives. To describe the imaging characteristics of supratentorial lesions in NMOsd on ultrahigh-field (7 T) MRI with special attention to vessel-lesion relationship. 

Methods. Ten NMOsd patients, all women and all seropositive for NMO IgG, with mean age of 51.3 ± 15.4 years and disease duration of 9.2 ± 6.4 years, were scanned at a 7 T whole-body human MR system with high-resolution 2D gradient echo sequence optimized to best visualize lesions and venous structures, T2- and T1-weighted imaging. 

Results. In 10 patients with NMOsd, a total of 92 lesions were observed (mean: 9.2 ± 8.8; range: 2-30), but only 8 lesions (9%) were traversed by a central venule. All lesions were <5 mm in diameter, and 83% were located in subcortical white matter. There were no lesions in the cortex or basal ganglia. Two patients exhibited diffuse periependymal abnormalities on FLAIR.

Conclusions. Small, subcortical lesions without a central venule are the most consistent finding of NMOsd on 7 T MRI of the brain. Ultrahigh-field imaging may be useful for differentiating between NMOsd and MS.


NMO used to be called Devic's disease or in some areas opticospinal multiple sclerosis. It is characterised by lesions in the spinal cord and optic nerve and is associated with the production of antibodies against a water channel on astrocytes. This study using a high power scanner looks into the brain and finds lesions in the white matter near the grey matter and some of these lesions are not associated with veins.