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Abstract #2065

Neuromyelitis optica spinal cord has increased T1 and decreased myelin water fraction

Clara Tabea Strunk 1,2 , Lucy A.E. Matthews 3 , Anthony Traboulsee 1 , Jacqueline Palace 3 , and Shannon Kolind 1

1 Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2 University of Osnabrck, Osnabrck, Germany, 3 Oxford University and Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, United Kingdom

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) clinically resembles multiple sclerosis (MS), but has a different mechanism of demyelination. Brain MRI studies have had difficulty distinguishing between diseases. Our goal was to determine whether differences in myelin or total water content, as measured with multi-component relaxation imaging, could be detected between NMO and MS in cervical spinal cord. Surprisingly, little difference was found between NMO and MS in spinal cord, although both were significantly altered compared to healthy controls. Differences in myelin and total water content were more easily detected between controls and MS or NMO in spinal cord than in brain.

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