Molecular Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis Management

A review of the modalities used for molecular imaging of multiple sclerosis, and a discussion of the probes that are currently in development alongside therapeutic drugs that share their targets.

Course ID: Q00714 Category:
Modalities: , ,


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Targeted CE per ARRT’s Discipline, Category, and Subcategory classification:
[Note: Discipline-specific Targeted CE credits may be less than the total Category A credits approved for this course.]

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 0.50
Procedures: 0.50
Neurological: 0.50

Nuclear Medicine Technology: 0.50
Procedures: 0.50
Other Imaging Procedures: 0.50

Registered Radiologist Assistant: 0.50
Procedures: 0.50
Neurological, Vascular, and Lymphatic Sections: 0.50


  1. Introduction
  2. Clinical Imaging Modalities
    1. MRI and MRS
    2. PET and SPECT
  3. Biomarkers of MS Targets
    1. Small Molecule Probes and Nanoparticles
    2. In Situ-Labeled Cells
    3. Imaging Agents Based on Established Therapeutic Drugs
  4. Clinical Trial End Points
    1. 1H MRS
    2. TSPO Imaging
  5. Conclusion


Upon completion of this course, students will:

  1. describe the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis
  2. list the clinical imaging modalities used to evaluate patients with MS
  3. list the MRI pulse sequences that guide MS treatment management
  4. compare the specificity and sensitivity of MRI and PET for specific targets of MS
  5. list the MRI pulse sequences with higher pathologic specificity that are used as clinical trials outcome measures
  6. list the isotopes that have been evaluated with MRI and MRS
  7. describe the application of gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with MS
  8. describe techniques for monitoring immune cell trafficking at MRI
  9. describe the utility of NAA levels at 1H MRS
  10. identify recent technical advances for PET that can improve spatial resolution
  11. describe the physical half-life of PET radiotracers
  12. identify the imaging modality that has been sparsely explored for applications in patients with MS
  13. describe the application of small molecule probes in monitoring MS pathophysiology
  14. identify the molecular target evaluated with 18F-radiolabeled FDG
  15. list the molecular targets evaluated with 11C-radiolabeled PET probes
  16. list the molecular targets evaluated with gadolinium-based contrast agents
  17. describe obstacles for developing and translating targeted molecular imaging probes for MS applications
  18. list the imaging modalities used for preclinical imaging of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1
  19. describe the MRS technique for preclinical investigation of glucose uptake and metabolism
  20. list MS therapies that are associated with alterations in glucose utilization
  21. identify the PET probe that produces the highest uptake in MS lesions
  22. identify the cell type that is believed to play the most prominent role in driving MS pathogenesis
  23. list the circulating immune cells that are labeled using ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide particles
  24. describe the MRI technique for assessment of mononuclear phagocytic cells
  25. identify the serotonin receptor antagonist that attenuates EAE disease severity in animal models
  26. identify the most widely developed COX-2 inhibitor that attenuates paralysis in multiple MS models
  27. identify the FDA-approved potassium channel blocker used in patients with MS
  28. list the isotopes used to radiolabel rituximab for PET imaging
  29. describe the technique used to image 19F-labeled teriflunomide
  30. list conventional imaging metrics commonly used to evaluate therapeutic efficacy in MS clinical trials
  31. describe the most extensively characterized technique for monitoring metabolic brain changes
  32. identify the brain chemical affected by interferon-β therapy
  33. list the isotopes used to radiolabel TSPO-targeting PET probes
  34. identify the most extensively developed molecular imaging target in MS
  35. identify the only TSPO PET tracer used for side-by-side comparison of MS treatments