There are new consensus guidelines that have a unified worldwide approach in clinical practice when it comes to multiple sclerosis diagnosis and monitoring. With that, healthcare providers must now use the new MRI guidelines when imaging patients who are dealing with multiple sclerosis, incorporating new safety data and imaging improvements.
Thankfully, worldwide experts in multiple sclerosis have aligned on agreed recommendations on using MRI scanners in people with MS. With these new guidelines developed by various study groups, these changes will address new developments and clinical updates, putting healthcare providers on the same page.
If you’re curious to know what the new MRI guidelines are, keep reading. We’ve made a summary of what you need to know about the new MRI guidelines. Let’s take a look!
What is the Main Focus of the New MRI Guidelines?
The key update and main focus of the new MRI guidelines is the recommendation to use standardized MRI protocols for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. This means that the new recommendations emphasize using 3D acquisition techniques, such as FLAIR and T1-weighted sequences.
The reason behind choosing 3D acquisition techniques is that these MRI parts can enhance lesion detections and contribute to an efficient realignment of anatomic orientation on serial scans.
Besides that, experts also recommend that the standard MS imaging protocol should include at least two of the three sagittal sequences: the T2-weighted spin-echo, proton density-weighted echo, or the short tau inversion recovery (STIR). However, if you use contrast agents, a T1-weighted spin-echo should also be integrated.
The New Biomarkers
With the latest MRI guidelines, various imaging biomarkers of MS have also started to emerge, notably, the central vein sign.
Although it can be helpful to distinguish MS from mimics, experts do not recommend the use of central vein sign-in routine clinical use. This is because the pulse sequences used for detection are not available on different clinical scanners and require expert image interpretation for proper diagnosis.
Using MRI for Effective Treatments and Disease Monitoring
Now that the healthcare industry has a baseline MRI, experts recommend conducting a new MRI without GBCAs three to six months after starting treatments or shifting to disease-modifying therapy.
Annual brain MRI should still push through despite being on DMT. However, longer intervals are accepted for clinically unstable or those who don’t require safety monitoring. However, you should note that brain MRI procedures should be performed consistently at each follow-up according to the mentioned protocol.
The Bottom Line: Realignment in the Healthcare Industry About MRI Protocols is Essential for Consistent Diagnosis and Treatments for MS
Finally, having new MRI guidelines is excellent news for the healthcare industry. Now that we know the recommended MRI parts and protocols for multiple sclerosis, medical teams can provide accurate diagnosis and better treatment.
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