Assessment of posterior fossa damage in MS using MRI

Tarek A. Yousry, Robert I. Grossman, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In multiple sclerosis (MS), brain stem and cerebellum are frequent sites of damage in clinically isolated syndromes at presentation and it is likely that lesions located in such structures can have an important impact on the development of disability in the definite forms of the disease. In patients presented with isolated brain stem syndromes, the symptomatic lesion was often not detected by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. But patients with asymptomatic infratentorial lesions progressed to clinically definite MS in 65% of cases. Infratentorial lesions are included in various MR criteria designed to assist in the differential diagnosis of MS lesions from incidental lesions, to differentiate MS from subcortical encephalopathic arteriopathy. The preferred MR sequence to visualize infratentorial lesions is the fast spin echo sequence. It is preferred to conventional spin echo and fast fluid attenuated inversion recovery sequences because of its relatively short acquisition time and good sensitivity. The correlation between disability and infratentorial lesion load on T2 weighted sequences is controversial. However, it was recently shown that the correlations between clinical measures and T1 lesion load, histogram magnetization transfer ratio and peak positions, and infratentorial volume measurements are strong. These findings suggest that one of the major factors in the development of disability in patients with MS is the pathological damage in clinically eloquent sites such as the brain stem and cerebellum. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2000


  • Brain stem
  • Cerebellum
  • Disability
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • MR sequences
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Posterior fossa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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