Objectives. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the usefulness of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI-MR) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Method. The MR examination including standard MR imaging and diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) was performed in 66 patients diagnosed with MS and in 23 controls.
MS patients were divided into two groups on the grounds of their MRI scans: one consisted of patients showing plaque formation, and the other of those without any demyelination symptoms. Apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) were measured in the normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) of frontal, parietal and temporal lobes of both cerebral hemispheres.
Results. Statistically significant differences in white matter ADCs were found between MS patients (M= 117.32; SD = 8.68; SE = 1.069) and the control group (M = 109.21; SD = 10.251; SE = 2.138)), as well as between MS patients with numerous foci of demyelination and those without such foci (M= 119.47; SD = 7.965; SE = 1.105, and M = 111.3; SD = 8.617; SE = 2.303, respectively).
Conclusions. ADC mapping is a simple and repeatable method allowing to assess the degree of white matter damage. The technique may be useful not only for the assessment of MS severity, but also for long-term monitoring of its course and of treatment outcomes.