Background and Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine if magnetic resonance (MR) susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) can increase the conspicuity of corticomedullary veins within the white matter lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS) and, thus, aid in distinguishing plaques from leukoaraiosis. Methods We retrospectively reviewed MR examinations in 21 patients with a clinical diagnosis of MS and 18 patients with a clinical diagnosis of dementia. Examinations included fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and SWI sequences obtained in the axial plane. Lesions greater than 5 mm in diameter on the axial FLAIR sequence were identified as periventricular or subcortical. Three neuroradiologists evaluated SWI images, compared with FLAIR, for a centrally located signal void in each lesion that was scored as present, absent, or indeterminate. Results In patients with MS, central veins were present in both periventricular lesions (75%, P < 0.001) and subcortical lesions (52%, P < 0.005). In patients with dementia, central veins were seen much less frequently in subcortical lesions (14%, P < 0.001); their association with periventricular lesions was not significant. Conclusions Central veins were detected in MS lesions with a significantly greater frequency than that in patients with dementia. Susceptibility-weighted imaging increases the conspicuity of corticomedullary veins and may improve the specificity of MR findings in MS.
- MS plaques
- susceptibility-weighted imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging