Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MR Imaging

The processes by which new white matter lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS) develop are only partially understood. Much of this understanding has come through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human brain. One of the hallmarks of new lesion development in MS is enhancement on T1-weighted MRI scans following the intravenous administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent that shortens the longitudinal relaxation time of the tissue. Visible enhancement on the MRI results from the opening of the blood-brain barrier and reveals areas of active inflammation. The incidence and number of existing enhancing lesions are common outcome measures used in MS treatment clinical trials. Dynamic-contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) can estimate the rate at which contrast agents pass from the plasma to MS lesions.

We have been developing a statistically principled framework for the quantification of such imaging outcomes and longitudinal modeling tools for examining trends in these behaviors.



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