Margarita Gorodezky1, Lucy A.E. Matthews2, Anthony L. Traboulsee3, Jacqueline Palace2, Shannon H. Kolind3
1Goethe Universitaet Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; 2Oxford University and Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, United Kingdom; 3University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that resembles multiple sclerosis (MS) but has distinct pathological features and is likely a separate disorder. The goal of this work was to use myelin water imaging to further understanding of pathological differences between these diseases, and aid in differentiating between them clinically. MS patients had a significantly greater volume of normal-appearing tissue with significantly reduced myelin water. The volume of significantly reduced myelin water correlated significantly with disability in MS but not NMO. Thus myelin water imaging could be a valuable tool for this difficult differential diagnosis.