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3D Neuromelanin‐sensitive magnetic resonance imaging of the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease

Abstract Background

To investigate the diagnostic utility of signal intensity measurement of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) using three dimensional (3D) neuromelanin‐sensitive 31MRI, for discrimination of patients with PD from healthy controls.


T1‐weighted neuromelanin sensitive images of 16 patients with PD and 15 controls were quantitatively analyzed by placing circular 10mm2 regions of interest (ROI) over the central and lateral parts of bilateral SNc, and anterior to the cerebral aqueduct at 3 levels of the midbrain. Signal intensities and contrast ratios (CRs) were calculated, post which significant differences, correlations, sensitivity and specificity were calculated.


The CRs of the central and lateral SNc were significantly lower in patients with PD. Lateral CRs were lower than the central CRs in both groups and significantly correlated with duration of illness. CRs of central and lateral parts of the SNc also correlated with the Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale‐III OFF state scores. ROC analysis revealed lateral CRs to be more sensitive and central CRs to be more specific for the discrimination of patients of PD from controls.


CR analysis of the SNc using 3D Neuromelanin‐sensitive MRI may serve as a quick and accurate tool to discern between patients with PD and healthy controls.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Authors:   Shweta Prasad, Albert Stezin, Abhishek Lenka, Lija George, Jitender Saini, Ravi Yadav, Pramod Kumar Pal
Journal:   European Journal of Neurology
Year:   2018
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1111/ene.13573
Publication date:   17-Jan-2018
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