Background and Purpose: The presence of a paramagnetic rim around a white matter lesion has recently been shown to be a hallmark of a particular pathological type of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesion. Increased prevalence of these paramagnetic rim lesions (PRLs) is associated with a more severe disease course in MS. The identification of these lesions is time-consuming to perform manually. We present a method to automatically detect PRLs on 3T T2*-phase images. Methods: T1-weighted, T2-FLAIR, and T2*-phase MRI of the brain were collected at 3T for 19 subjects with MS. The images were then processed with lesion segmentation, lesion center detection, lesion labelling, and lesion-level radiomic feature extraction. A total of 877 lesions were identified, 118 (13%) of which contained a paramagnetic rim. We divided our data into a training set (15 patients, 673 lesions) and a testing set (4 patients, 204 lesions). We fit a random forest classification model on the training set and assessed our ability to classify lesions as PRL on the test set. Results: The number of PRLs per subject identified via our automated lesion labelling method was highly correlated with the gold standard count of PRLs per subject, r = 0.91 (95% CI [0.79, 0.97]). The classification algorithm using radiomic features can classify a lesion as PRL or not with an area under the curve of 0.80 (95% CI [0.67, 0.86]). Conclusion: This study develops a fully automated technique for the detection of paramagnetic rim lesions using standard T1 and FLAIR sequences and a T2*phase sequence obtained on 3T MR images.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience