Table 2: MRI markers.

MarkerDisease phaseFindingsReferences

T2 lesion loadCISGood association with conversion to definite MS[3337]
Later in the RR phaseWeak association with disability (EDSS) progression
T1 lesion load RRThe change in T1 lesion volume correlated more strongly with disability progression than did T2 lesion volume change[38]
Brain atrophyCIS, early RR, and PPWhole brain and central atrophy were good predictors of EDSS at 10 years [3942]
GM atrophyEarly RR and PPGood relationship with disability progression (definitely better than WM atrophy) [4347]
Regional GM atrophyCIS, RR, and PPGood correlation with disability progression and cognitive dysfunction: rate of thalamic atrophy in MS subjects was correlated with changes in EDSS;
cerebellar cortical atrophy was indicated among the predictive parameters of progression in those RR MS patients who converted to the SP phase
[4853]
GM lesion loadEarly and long-standing RRGood association with GM atrophy and progression of physical and cognitive disability [54]
Spinal cord areaCIS and early RRCord area, rather than T2 lesion load, might have a role in predicting the accumulation of disability[5557]
GM magnetization transfer ratioCIS, RR, and SPGM magnetization transfer ratio histogram peak height and average lesion magnetization transfer ratio percentage change after 12 months were independent predictors of disability worsening at 8 years [58]
GM mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropyRR and PPAverage GM mean diffusivity, identified patients with high risk of disease progression over the following 5 years; change in fractional anisotropy of normal appearing GM and disease duration were independent predictors of EDSS change[59, 60]

CIS: clinically isolated syndrome; EDSS: expanded disability status scale; GM: grey matter; PP: primary progressive; RR: relapsing remitting; SP: secondary progressive; WM: white matter.