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Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance tomography in diagnosis of encephalitis disseminata


, : Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance tomography in diagnosis of encephalitis disseminata. Der Radiologe 40(11): 1057-1063

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is one of the best methods in diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, particularly in disclosure of active demyelinating lesions. Aim of this study was to compare diffusion weighted imaging and contrast enhancement in the detection of active lesions. A MR study with a contrast enhanced T1-weighted pulse sequence with magnetization transfer presaturation and a diffusion weighted echoplanar pulse sequence (b = 1000 s/mm2) was performed in 17 patients (11 women, 6 men) with multiple sclerosis. 29 of 239 lesions showed an increased signal intensity in diffusion weighted imaging, 24 lesions a contrast enhancement, but only 16 lesions were visible in both pulse sequences. In patients with short clinical symptomatology significant more lesions could be detected with diffusion-weighted pulse sequence in comparison to patients with long standing symptomatology showing more lesions with contrast enhancement. Hence it is likely, that both pulse sequences detect different histopathologic changes. The early detection of demyelinating lesions in diffusion weighted imaging is attributed to the extracellular edema, however the contrast enhancement is caused by a blood brain barrier abnormality. It can be expected that diffusion weighted imaging will have a high impact on imaging of multiple sclerosis not only in therapeutic trials, but also in clinical routine.

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PMID: 11147321


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