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Leukocortical lesions in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis on multi-contrast MRI

Full Title: Detection and clinical correlation of leukocortical lesions in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis on multi-contrast MRI

Maranzano J, Till C, Assemlal H, Fonov V, Brown R, Collins D.L., Banwell B, Arnold D.L., Narayanan S

Multiple Sclerosis Journal



To determine the frequency of cortical lesions (CLs) in patients with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (POMS) using multi-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and the relationship between frontal CL load and upper limb dexterity assessed with the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT).


Participants completed the 9-HPT and were imaged on a 3T MRI scanner to collect T1-weighted three-dimensional (3D) magnetization prepared rapid gradient echo (MPRAGE), proton density–weighted, T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images. CLs were manually segmented using all MRI contrasts.


We enrolled 24 participants with POMS (mean (standard deviation) age at first symptom: 13.3 (±2.7) years; mean age at scan: 18.8 (±3) years; mean disease duration of 5 (±3.2) years). A total of 391 CLs (mean, 16.3 ± 27.2; median, 7) were identified in 19 of 24 POMS patients (79%). The total number of CLs was positively associated with white matter lesion volume (p = 0.04) but not with thalamic volume, age at the time of the scan, or disease duration. The number of frontal CLs was associated with slower performance on the 9-HPT (p = 0.05).


Multi-contrast 3T MRI led to a high rate of CL detection, demonstrating that cortical pathology occurs even in pediatric-onset disease. Frontal lobe CL count was associated with reduced manual dexterity, indicating that these CLs are clinically relevant.


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