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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 398259, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Ultrahigh-Field MR (7 T) Imaging of Brain Lesions in Neuromyelitis Optica

1Multiple Sclerosis Care Center, Department of Neurology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
2Department of Radiology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Received 22 November 2012; Accepted 23 December 2012

Academic Editor: Friedemann Paul

Copyright © 2013 Ilya Kister 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.


Background. Brain lesions are common in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOsd) and may resemble lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS). Objectives. To describe the imaging characteristics of supratentorial lesions in NMOsd on ultrahigh-field (7 T) MRI with special attention to vessel-lesion relationship. Methods. Ten NMOsd patients, all women and all seropositive for NMO IgG, with mean age of 51.3 ± 15.4 years and disease duration of 9.2 ± 6.4 years, were scanned at a 7 T whole-body human MR system with high-resolution 2D gradient echo sequence optimized to best visualize lesions and venous structures, T2- and T1-weighted imaging. Results. In 10 patients with NMOsd, a total of 92 lesions were observed (mean: 9.2 ± 8.8; range: 2–30), but only 8 lesions (9%) were traversed by a central venule. All lesions were <5 mm in diameter, and 83% were located in subcortical white matter. There were no lesions in the cortex or basal ganglia. Two patients exhibited diffuse periependymal abnormalities on FLAIR. Conclusions. Small, subcortical lesions without a central venule are the most consistent finding of NMOsd on 7 T MRI of the brain. Ultrahigh-field imaging may be useful for differentiating between NMOsd and MS.