Direct visualization of Parkinson's disease by in vivo human brain imaging using 7.0T magnetic resonance imaging.

Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Namdong-gu, Incheon, South Korea.
Movement Disorders (Impact Factor: 5.63). 03/2011; 26(4):713-8. DOI: 10.1002/mds.23465
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) pars compacta. Therefore, imaging of the SN has been regarded to hold greatest potential for use in the diagnosis of PD. At the 7.0T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it is now possible to delineate clearly the shapes and boundaries of the SN. We scanned eight early and two advanced PD patients, along with nine age-matched control subjects, using a 7.0T MRI in an attempt to directly visualize the SN and quantify the differences in shape and boundaries of SN between PD subjects in comparison with the normal control subjects. In the normal controls, the boundaries between the SN and crus cerebri appear smooth, and clean "arch" shapes that stretch ventrally from posterior to anterior. In contrast, these smooth and clean arch-like boundaries were lost in PD subjects. The measured correlation analyses show that, in PD patients, there is age-dependent correlation and substantially stronger UPDRS motor score-dependent correlation. These results suggest that, by using 7.0T MRI, it appears possible to use these visible and distinctive changes in morphology as a diagnostic marker of PD.

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    ABSTRACT: To date, the most frequently used Parkinson’s disease (PD) biomarkers are the brain imaging measures of dopaminergic dysfunction using positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography. However, major advances have occurred in the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers for PD in the past decade. Although conventional structural imaging remains normal in PD, advanced techniques have shown changes in the substantia nigra and the cortex. The most well-developed MRI markers in PD include diffusion imaging and iron load using T2/T2∗ relaxometry techniques. Other quantitative biomarkers such as susceptibility-weighted imaging for iron load, magnetization transfer and ultra-high-field MRI have shown great potential. More sophisticated techniques such as tractography and resting state functional connectivity give access to anatomical and functional connectivity changes in the brain, respectively. Brain perfusion can be assessed using non-contrast-agent techniques
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To evaluate the anatomy of the substantia nigra (SN) in healthy subjects by performing 7-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the SN, and to prospectively define the accuracy of 7-T MR imaging in distinguishing Parkinson disease (PD) patients from healthy subjects on an individual basis. Materials and Methods The 7-T MR imaging protocol was approved by the Italian Ministry of Health and by the local competent ethics committee. SN anatomy was described ex vivo on a gross brain specimen by using highly resolved proton-density (spin-echo proton density) and gradient-recalled-echo (GRE) images, and in vivo in eight healthy subjects (mean age, 40.1 years) by using GRE three-dimensional multiecho susceptibility-weighted images. After training on appearance of SN in eight healthy subjects, the SN anatomy was evaluated twice by two blinded observers in 13 healthy subjects (mean age, 54.7 years) and in 17 PD patients (mean age, 56.9 years). Deviations from normal SN appearance were described and indicated as abnormal, and both diagnostic accuracy and intra- and interobserver agreement for diagnosis of PD with 7-T MR imaging were calculated. Results Three-dimensional multiecho susceptibility-weighted 7-T MR imaging reveals a three-layered organization of the SN allowing readers to distinguish pars compacta ventralis and dorsalis from pars reticulata. The abnormal architecture of the SN allowed a discrimination between PD patients and healthy subjects with sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 96.2% (range, 92.3%-100%), respectively. Intraobserver agreement (κ = 1) and interobserver agreement (κ = 0.932) were excellent. Conclusion MR imaging at 7-T allows a precise characterization of the SN and visualization of its inner organization. Three-dimensional multiecho susceptibility-weighted images can be used to accurately differentiate healthy subjects from PD patients, which provides a novel diagnostic opportunity. © RSNA, 2014.
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    ABSTRACT: Ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging (UHF-MRI) has recently gained substantial scientific interest. At field strengths of 7 Tesla (T) and higher UHF-MRI provides unprecedented spatial resolution due to an increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The UHF-MRI method has been successfully applied in various neurological disorders. In neuroinflammatory diseases UHF-MRI has already provided a detailed insight into individual pathological disease processes and elucidated differential diagnoses of several disease entities, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and Susac's syndrome. The excellent depiction of normal blood vessels, vessel abnormalities and infarct morphology by UHF-MRI can be utilized in vascular diseases. Detailed imaging of the hippocampus in Alzheimer's disease and the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease as well as sensitivity to iron depositions could be valuable in neurodegenerative diseases. Current UHF-MRI studies still suffer from small sample sizes, selection bias or propensity to image artefacts. In addition, the increasing clinical relevance of 3T-MRI has not been sufficiently appreciated in previous studies. Although UHF-MRI is only available at a small number of medical research centers it could provide a high-end diagnostic tool for healthcare optimization in the foreseeable future. The potential of UHF-MRI still has to be carefully validated by profound prospective research to define its place in future medicine.
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Jan 2, 2015