The role of MRI in the evaluation of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.


Magnetic resonance imaging already has an established role in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, but it also has the potential to provide prognostic information, and to monitor [corrected] disease progression in clinical trials and practice. Magnetic resonance imaging measures are increasingly being used as the primary outcome in early phase clinical trials of immunomodulatory therapies (for example brain white matter lesion counts or volumes, and gadolinium contrast enhancing lesions) and putatively neuroprotective agents (for example measures of whole brain atrophy), and trials of agents that promote remyelination are also likely to follow suit. In this review we consider the use of magnetic resonance imaging measures as predictors and markers of disease progression in multiple sclerosis, and explore possible future directions in this rapidly developing field.