Background: MR fingerprinting (MRF) is a novel imaging method proposed for the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This study aims to determine if MR Fingerprinting (MRF) relaxometry can differentiate frontal normal appearing white matter (F-NAWM) and splenium in patients diagnosed with MS as compared to controls and to characterize the relaxometry of demyelinating plaques relative to the time of diagnosis. Methods: Three-dimensional (3D) MRF data were acquired on a 3.0T MRI system resulting in isotropic voxels (1 × 1 × 1 mm3) and a total acquisition time of 4 min 38 s. Data were collected on 18 subjects paired with 18 controls. Regions of interest were drawn over MRF-derived T1 relaxometry maps encompassing selected MS lesions, F-NAWM and splenium. T1 and T2 relaxometry features from those segmented areas were used to classify MS lesions from F-NAWM and splenium with T-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding algorithms. Partial least squares discriminant analysis was performed to discriminate NAWM and Splenium in MS compared with controls. Results: Mean out-of-fold machine learning prediction accuracy for discriminant results between MS patients and controls for F-NAWM was 65 % (p = 0.21) and approached 90 % (p < 0.01) for the splenium. There was significant positive correlation between time since diagnosis and MS lesions mean T2 (p = 0.015), minimum T1 (p = 0.03) and negative correlation with splenium uniformity (p = 0.04). Perfect discrimination (AUC = 1) was achieved between selected features from MS lesions and F-NAWM. Conclusions: 3D-MRF has the ability to differentiate between MS and controls based on relaxometry properties from the F-NAWM and splenium. Whole brain coverage allows the assessment of quantitative properties within lesions that provide chronological assessment of the time from MS diagnosis.
- MR Fingerprinting
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Normal appearing white matter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging