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30.04.2018 | Magnetic Resonance | Ausgabe 10/2018 Open Access

European Radiology 10/2018

Optic radiations are thinner and show signs of iron deposition in patients with long-standing remitting-relapsing multiple sclerosis: an enhanced T2*-weighted angiography imaging study

European Radiology > Ausgabe 10/2018
Chun Zeng, Silin Du, Yongliang Han, Jialiang Fu, Qi Luo, Yayun Xiang, Xiaoya Chen, Tianyou Luo, Yongmei Li, Yineng Zheng
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00330-018-5461-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



This study aimed to investigate iron deposition and thickness and signal changes in optic radiation (OR) by enhanced T2*-weighted angiography imaging (ESWAN) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) with unilateral and bilateral lesions or no lesions.


Fifty-one RRMS patients (42 patients with a disease duration [DD] ≥ 2 years [group Mor], nine patients with a DD < 2 years [group Les]) and 51 healthy controls (group Con) underwent conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ESWAN at 3.0 T. The mean phase value (MPV) of the OR was measured on the phase image, and thickness and signal changes of the OR were observed on the magnitude image.


The average MPVs for the OR were 1,981.55 ± 7.75 in group Mor, 1,998.45 ± 2.01 in group Les, and 2,000.48 ± 5.53 in group Con. In group Mor, 28 patients with bilateral OR lesions showed bilateral OR thinning with a heterogeneous signal, and 14 patients with unilateral OR lesions showed ipsilateral OR thinning with a heterogeneous signal. In the remaining nine patients without OR lesions and in group Con, the bilateral OR had a normal appearance. In the patients, a negative correlation was found between DD and OR thickness and a positive correlation was found between MPV and OR thickness.


We confirmed iron deposition in the OR in the RRMS patients, and the OR thickness was lower in the patients than in the controls.

Key Points

• Enhanced T 2 * -weighted magnetic resonance angiography (ESWAN) provides new insights into multiple sclerosis (MS).
• Focal destruction of the optic radiation (OR) is detectable by ESWAN.
• Iron deposition in OR can be measured on ESWAN phase image in MS patients.
• OR thickness was lower in the patients than in the controls.
• Iron deposition and thickness changes of the OR are associated with disease duration.

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