An International Standardized Magnetic Resonance Imaging Protocol for Diagnosis and Follow-up of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



International Journal of MS Care








Standardized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocols are important for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) convened an international panel of MRI experts to review and update the current guidelines. The objective was to update the standardized MRI protocol and clinical guidelines for diagnosis and follow-up of MS and develop strategies for advocacy, dissemination, and implementation. Conference attendees included neurologists, radiologists, technologists, and imaging scientists with expertise in MS. Representatives from the CMSC, Magnetic Resonance Imaging in MS (MAGNIMS), North American Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis Cooperative, US Department of Veteran Affairs, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, MRI manufacturers, and commercial image analysis companies were present. Before the meeting, CMSC members were surveyed about standardized MRI protocols, gadolinium use, need for diffusion-weighted imaging, and the central vein sign. The panel worked to make the CMSC and MAGNIMS MRI protocols similar so that the updated guidelines could ultimately be accepted by international consensus. Advocacy efforts will promote the importance of standardized MS MRI protocols. Dissemination will include publications, meeting abstracts, educational programming, webinars, “meet the expert” teleconferences, and examination cards. Implementation will require comprehensive and coordinated efforts to make the protocol easy to access and use. The ultimate vision, and goal, is for the guidelines to be universally useful, usable, and used as the standard of care for patients with MS. Int J MS Care. 2020;22:226-232.