In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), the apparently uninvolved cerebral white matter between demyelinated plaques may have biochemical abnormalities. To what degree the changes in the white matter contribute to symptomatology in MS is unknown. In 39 patients with multiple sclerosis, and in 39 age‐matched nondiseased volunteers, T1 and T2 were calculated from spin‐echo images in four regions of apparently uninvolved white matter. In three of four white matter areas, the average T1 and T2 were significantly longer in the patients than in the controls. The T1 correlated with the disability, measured by the Kurtzke Extended Disability Status Scale, although the correlation was marginally significant. The results suggest that in patients with MS, white matter disease that is not visualized in MR as distinct foci of abnormal signal intensity may contribute to disease burden and disability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging