Audrey P. Fan1, 2, Revere P. Kinkel3, 4, Nancy K. Madigan3, 4, A Scott Nielson3, Thomas Benner2, Emanuele Tinelli5, Bruce R. Rosen2, 4, Elfar Adalsteinsson1, 2, Caterina Mainero2, 4
1Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States; 2Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA, United States; 3Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, United States; 4Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States; 5Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy
This study directly quantified OEF in individual cortical veins from patients at different stages of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease using MRI magnetic susceptibility measurements at 7 Tesla. Patients with late disease exhibited 6.2% absolute reduction in OEF compared to controls (p=0.024). Cortical OEF negatively correlated with disease duration (p=0.02) and white matter lesion volume (p<0.01). Across all patients, decreased OEF strongly associated with reduced cognitive performance, and cortical OEF was the main independent predictor of processing speed (p=0.03, stepwise regression). This study implicates metabolic deficiency early in the development of cognitive dysfunction in MS, and highlights OEF as a useful new metric of cortical pathology.