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Abstract #0218

Multiple sclerosis lesions are softer than surrounding white matter: An MR elastography study

Curtis L Johnson1, Christian A Thompson1, Brian M Sandroff2, Thomas A Edwards3, Elizabeth A Hubbard3, Rachel E Klaren3, Hillary Schwarb4, Bradley P Sutton4, Lara A Pilutti5, and Robert W Motl6

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, United States, 2Kessler Foundation, East Hanover, NJ, United States, 3Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, United States, 4Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, United States, 5Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada, 6Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alabama at Birgmingham, Birmingham, AL, United States

Mechanical properties of the brain measured with magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) have proven sensitive to tissue health in neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS). In this study, we use high-resolution MRE to examine the mechanical properties of focal lesions in subjects with MS to determine if they exhibit viscoelastic signatures that differ from surrounding white matter. In a sample of fourteen subjects, we found that lesions are significantly softer than surrounding white matter. This finding suggests MRE is sensitive to tissue disruption localized to focal lesions, and may provide novel measures of tissue health in the assessment of MS.

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