Date: 03 Aug 2013

Topography of brain sodium accumulation in progressive multiple sclerosis

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Abstract

Object

Sodium accumulation is involved in neuronal injury occurring in multiple sclerosis (MS). We aimed to assess sodium accumulation in progressive MS, known to suffer from severe neuronal injury.

Materials and methods

3D-23Na-MRI was obtained on a 3T-MR-scanner in 20 progressive MS patients [11 primary-progressive (PPMS) and nine secondary-progressive (SPMS)] and 15 controls. Total sodium concentrations (TSC) within grey matter (GM), normal-appearing white matter (WM) and lesions were extracted. Statistical mapping analyses of TSC abnormalities were also performed.

Results

Progressive MS patients presented higher GM–TSC values (48.8 ± 3.1 mmol/l wet tissue vol, p < 0.001) and T2lesions-TSC values (50.9 ± 2.2 mmol/l wet tissue vol, p = 0.01) compared to GM and WM of controls. Statistical mapping analysis showed TSC increases in PPMS patients confined to motor and somatosensory cortices, prefrontal cortices, pons and cerebellum. In SPMS, TSC increases were associated with areas involving: primary motor, premotor and somatosensory cortices; prefrontal, cingulate and visual cortices; the corpus callosum, thalami, brainstem and cerebellum. Anterior prefrontal and premotor cortices TSC were correlated with disability.

Conclusion

Sodium accumulation is present in progressive MS patients, more restricted to the motor system in PPMS and more widespread in SPMS. Local brain sodium accumulation appears as a promising marker to monitor patients with progressive MS.