Multiple Sclerosis

Preliminary Diagnosis: Multiple Sclerosis

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

  • Contrasted MR of the brain per demyelinating protocol

  • Contrasted MR of the cervical spine may additionally be performed to search for any cervical spine demyelinating plaques.

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.


  • Highly specific and sensitive for detecting any chronic and/or active demyelinating multiple sclerotic plaques

  • More adept in helping clinch a diagnosis of multiple Sclerosis per McDonalds criteria than other imaging modalities

  • Offers exquisite detail of both gray and white matter.


  • Expensive

  • Time Consuming

  • Requires significant patient cooperation to minimize motion artifact

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

  • Contraindicated in patients with non MR compatible hardware.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

  • No other alternative imaging techniques are available.

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

  • Not applicable

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

  • Not applicable.

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