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Abstract #1407

Clinical relevance of multiparametric MRI assessment of spinal cord damage in multiple sclerosis

Elisabetta Pagani1, Raffaello Bonacchi1,2, Alessandro Meani1, Laura Cacciaguerra1,2, Ermelinda De Meo1,2, Paolo Preziosa1,2, Maria A. Rocca1,2, and Massimo Filippi1,2,3
1Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy, 2Neurology Unit, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy, 3Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy

Cervical spinal cord involvement is common in multiple sclerosis (MS). We performed a comprehensive multiparametric MRI study to explore pathophysiological substrates of damage and to identify the most accurate imaging predictors of disability and disease course. We found that the processes contributing to disability differ according to the stage of the disease. In relapsing-remitting MS patients, lesions and microstructural damage to cervical spinal cord tracts have a prominent role, whereas in progressive MS patients, cervical cord grey matter atrophy becomes clinically meaningful.

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