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Reduced Myelin Signal in Normal-appearing White Matter in Neuromyelitis Optica Measured by 7T Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Chou, I-Jun; Tanasescu, Radu; Mougin, Olivier E.; Gowland, Penny A.; Tench, Christopher R.; Whitehouse, William P.; Gran, Bruno; Nikfekr, Esmaeil; Sharrack, Basil; Mazibrada, Gordon; Constantinescu, Cris S


I-Jun Chou

Radu Tanasescu

William P. Whitehouse

Bruno Gran

Esmaeil Nikfekr

Basil Sharrack

Gordon Mazibrada

Cris S Constantinescu


Whether the integrity of normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) is preserved in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) is open to debate. To examine whether the tissue integrity of NAWM in NMOSD is compromised compared to that in healthy controls and patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), we prospectively enrolled 14 patients with NMOSD, 12 patients with MS, and 10 controls for clinical functional assessments and quantitative imaging, including T1 relaxation time (T1) and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) at 7 Tesla. Cognitive performance on the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test with a 3-second interstimulus interval (PASAT-3) was significantly lower in the NMOSD compared to the MS group (mean number of correct answers, 34.1 vs. 47.6; p=.006), but there were no differences in disease duration or disability. Histograms of T1 and MTR maps of NAWM demonstrated a decreased peak height in patients with NMOSD compared to the healthy controls, but not compared to patients with MS. Using 7T quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this study showed that the NAWM in patients with NMOSD is abnormal, with reduced myelin signal; this was not previously observed using MRI at a lower field strength.


Chou, I., Tanasescu, R., Mougin, O. E., Gowland, P. A., Tench, C. R., Whitehouse, W. P., …Constantinescu, C. S. (2019). Reduced Myelin Signal in Normal-appearing White Matter in Neuromyelitis Optica Measured by 7T Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Scientific Reports, 9, Article 14378.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 18, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 7, 2019
Publication Date Oct 7, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 25, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 8, 2019
Journal Scientific Reports
Print ISSN 2045-2322
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 14378
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 4 December 2018; Accepted: 18 September 2019; First Online: 7 October 2019; : The authors declare no competing interests.


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