In this retrospective study we tested the hypothesis that the net effect of impaired electrical conduction and therefore increased heat dissipation in multiple sclerosis (MS) results in elevated lateral ventricular (LV) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diffusivity as a measure of brain temperature estimated in vivo using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We used validated DTI-based segmentation methods to obtain normalized LV-CSF volume and its corresponding CSF diffusivity in 108 MS patients and 103 healthy controls in the age range of 21-63 years. The LV CSF diffusivity was ~2% higher in MS compared to controls that correspond to a temperature rise of ~1°C that could not be explained by changes in the CSF viscosity due to altered CSF protein content in MS. The LV diffusivity decreased with age in healthy controls (r=-0.29; p=0.003), but not in MS (r=0.15; p=0.11), possibly related to MS pathology. Age-adjusted LV diffusivity increased with lesion load (r=0.518; p=1×10-8). Our data suggest that the total brain lesion load is the primary contributor to the increase in LV CSF diffusivity in MS. These findings suggest that LV diffusivity is a potential in vivo biomarker of the mismatch between heat generation and dissipation in MS. We also discuss limitations and possible confounders.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is funded by Dunn Foundation (KMH) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NINDS R01-NS052505 to KMH, NIH/NIBIB EB002095 & 1 R01 NS078244-01A1 to PAN, 5K23NS072134-02 awarded to FN, and an unrestricted gift from the Band Against Multiple Sclerosis to JSW. The purchase of the 3.0 T MRI clinical scanner is partially funded by NIH grant S10 RR19186 to PAN.
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.
- Cerebrospinal fluid
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- Lateral ventricles
- Multiple sclerosis