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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2011, Article ID 953806, 12 pages
Research Article

Feasibility of Imaging Myelin Lesions in Multiple Sclerosis

General Electric Global Research Center, 1 Research Circle, Niskayuna, NY 12309, USA

Received 13 January 2011; Revised 18 March 2011; Accepted 14 April 2011

Academic Editor: Kjell Erlandsson

Copyright © 2011 Maria I. Zavodszky et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The goal of this study was to provide a feasibility assessment for PET imaging of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions based on their decreased myelin content relative to the surrounding normal-appearing brain tissue. The imaging agent evaluated for this purpose is a molecule that binds strongly and specifically to myelin basic protein. Physiology-based pharmacokinetic modeling combined with PET image simulation applied to a brain model was used to examine whether such an agent would allow the differentiation of artificial lesions 4–10 mm in diameter from the surrounding normal-looking white and gray matter. Furthermore, we examined how changes in agent properties, model parameters, and experimental conditions can influence imageability, identifying a set of conditions under which imaging of MS lesions might be feasible. Based on our results, we concluded that PET imaging has the potential to become a useful complementary method to MRI for MS diagnosis and therapy monitoring.