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Abstract #4363

High-Field Characterization of Spinal Cord Damage in Multiple Sclerosis

Bailey Lyttle 1 , Adrienne Dula 2,3 , Benjamin Conrad 2 , Richard Dortch 2,3 , Megan Barry 4 , Subramaniam Sriram 4 , Shilpa Reddy 4 , Seth Smith 2,3 , and Siddharama Pawate 4

1 Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States, 2 Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States, 3 Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States, 4 Neurology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States

Nearly all patients of multiple sclerosis experience deficits in movement initiation and somatosensory stimulation, indicating the progression of lesions and atrophy within the spinal cord. However, clinical (1.5T) and low-field (3T) MRI fail to reflect the level of spinal cord damage necessary to produce such extensive physical impairment, creating a clinical-radiological paradox. The application of high-field (7T) MRI and semi-automatic segmentation correlates clinical performance not only with spinal cord atrophy but also with lesion load, suggesting that the clinical-radiological paradox can be resolved by increasing the field strength at which peripheral effects of multiple sclerosis are identified.

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