|From: Absinta et al. J Clin Invest. 2016;126(7):2597-2609. doi:10.1172/JCI86198.
|From: Absinta et al. J Clin Invest. 2016;126(7):2597-2609. doi:10.1172/JCI86198.|
Sethi V, Nair G, Absinta M, Sati P, Venkataraman A, Ohayon J, Wu T, Yang K, Shea C, Dewey BE, Cortese IC, Reich DS. SLOWLY ERODING LESIONS IN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. MULT SCLER. 2016. PII: 1352458516655403.
BACKGROUND: At autopsy, 20%-40% of chronic multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions are labeled “slowly expanding” and feature myelin phagocytosis at the lesion edge. As pathological lesion classification relies on a single, terminal time point, the rate of lesion expansion cannot be directly measured.
OBJECTIVE: To study long-term volume changes in individual MS lesions.
METHODS: Volumes of individual lesions on proton density magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquired between 1992 and 2015 were measured in 22 individuals (one lesion per person). After correction for acquisition protocol, a mixed model evaluated lesion volume changes.
RESULTS: The mean (standard deviation) lesion volume at baseline was 142 (82) mL, falling to 74 (51) mL after 16 (3) years. All lesions shrank over time. Change in lesion volume did not correlate with change in supratentorial brain volume (p = 0.33). In simulations, the results could be explained by a process of slow radial expansion superimposed on substantially more rapid resorption of damaged tissue.
CONCLUSION: We noted sustained radiological contraction of MS lesions, a surprising result given that fresh myelin breakdown products within chronic active lesions are observed relatively frequently at autopsy. Therefore, the primary pathological process in chronic lesions, even those described as “slowly expanding,” is likely to be tissue loss.
Absinta et al. Persistent 7-tesla phase rim predicts poor outcome in new multiple sclerosis patient lesions. J Clin Invest. 2016 Jul 1;126(7):2597-609.
BACKGROUND: In some active multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions, a strong immune reaction at the lesion edge may contain growth and thereby isolate the lesion from the surrounding parenchyma. Our previous studies suggest that this process involves opening of the blood-brain barrier in capillaries at the lesion edge, seen on MRI as centripetal contrast enhancement and a colocalized phase rim. We hypothesized that using these features to characterize early lesion evolution will allow in vivo tracking of tissue degeneration and/or repair, thus improving the evaluation of potential therapies for chronic active lesions.
METHODS: Centripetally and centrifugally enhancing lesions were studied in 17 patients with MS using 7-tesla MRI. High-resolution, susceptibility-weighted, T1-weighted (before/after gadolinium), and dynamic contrast-enhanced scans were acquired at baseline and months 1, 3, 6, and 12. For each lesion, time evolution of the phase rim, lesion volume, and T1 hypointensity were assessed. In autopsies of 3 progressive MS cases, the histopathology of the phase rim was determined.
RESULTS: In centripetal lesions, a phase rim colocalized with initial contrast enhancement. In 12 of 22, this phase rim persisted after enhancement resolved. Compared with centripetal lesions with transient rim, those with persistent rim had less volume shrinkage and became more T1 hypointense between months 3 and 12. No centrifugal lesions developed phase rims at any time point. Pathologically, persistent rims corresponded to an iron-laden inflammatory myeloid cell population at the edge of chronic demyelinated lesions.
CONCLUSION: In early lesion evolution, a persistent phase rim in lesions that shrink least and become more T1 hypointense over time suggests that the rim might mark failure of early lesion repair and/or irreversible tissue damage. In later stages of MS, phase rim lesions continue to smolder, exerting detrimental effects on affected brain tissue.