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This Week In The Bmj

Caution needed over role of MRI in diagnosing multiple sclerosis

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7546.0 (Published 13 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:0

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on its own has limited ability to rule out or confirm a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in patients with a single attack of neurological dysfunction. Whiting and colleagues (p 875) conducted a systematic review of 29 studies that evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of MRI for multiple sclerosis. Most studies were of poor quality and had short term follow-up. Even when MRI showed many lesions, it could not accurately confirm multiple sclerosis. Similarly, the absence of lesions could not accurately rule out the diagnosis.


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