To assess the presence of perfusion abnormalities in the deep gray matter of patients with relapsing-remitting and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in comparison with healthy controls and to investigate the impact of perfusion impairment on clinical disability and fatigue.
Twenty-two patients with MS and 11 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers.
Absolute cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, and mean transit time were measured in the thalamus, putamen, and caudate nuclei.
Main Outcome Measures
Decrease of cerebral blood flow in the deep gray matter of patients with MS and correlation between perfusion impairment and the severity of fatigue.
The cerebral blood flow value averaged over the thalamus, putamen, and caudate nuclei was significantly lower in patients with primary progressive MS (P<.001) and in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (P = .01) compared with controls, and there was a trend for patients with primary progressive MS to have lower average cerebral blood flow than patients with relapsing-remitting MS (P = .06). With respect to cerebral blood volume, there was a significant difference between patients with primary progressive MS and controls (P<.001) and between the 2 groups of patients (P = .03) but not between patients with relapsing-remitting MS and controls (P>.30). The fatigue score was significantly correlated with cerebral blood flow (r = 0.4; P<.001) and cerebral blood volume (r = 0.5; P = .004).
The decrease of tissue perfusion in the deep gray matter of patients with MS is associated with the severity of fatigue.