3 T deep gray matter T2 hypointensity correlates with disability over time in stable relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A 3-year pilot study

Y. Zhang, L. M. Metz, V. W. Yong, J. R. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Abnormally decreased deep gray matter (GM) signal intensity on T2-weighted MRI (T2 hypointensity) is associated with brain atrophy and disability progression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and is believed to represent excessive iron deposition. We investigated the time course of deep GM T2 hypointensity and its relationship with disability at 3 T in 8 stable relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients treated with minocycline over 3 years. MRI and disability measurements were compared at baseline, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months. Grand mean deep GM T2 hypointensity was negatively correlated with EDSS over time (r = - 0.94, P = 0.02). This correlation was strongest in the head of caudate (r = - 0.95, P = 0.01) and putamen (r = - 0.89, P = 0.04). Additionally, baseline grand mean deep GM T2 hypointensity appears to predict third year EDSS (r = - 0.72, P = 0.04). These results suggest that iron associated deep GM injury correlates with patient disability in stable RRMS. Measurements of deep GM T2 hypointensity at high field MRI may prove to be useful in monitoring individuals with MS. Further studies are required to confirm these results in a large sample and to determine if T2 hypointensity changes in clinically active MS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2010



  • 3 T MRI
  • Deep gray matter
  • Disability
  • Iron deposition
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • T2 hypointensity
  • Time course

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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