What are the MAGNIMS (Magnetic Resonance Imaging in MS) Network guidelines for the use of MRI in multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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In 2005, the MAGNIMS Network released two separate guidelines for use of MRI in MS. One covers diagnosis of suspected MS and the other covers use of MRI in disease monitoring.

The MAGNIMS guidelines find currently available evidence insufficient to support the use of advanced MRI to establish the initial diagnosis or differential diagnosis of MS in patients with CIS. 

Other recommendations include the following:

  • Spinal cord MRI should always be performed in patients with spinal cord symptoms at disease onset
  • Spinal cord MRI should be performed when brain MRI results are inconclusive, and for all patients with brain MRI suggestive for RIS

The MAGNIMS guidelines recommend more frequent follow-up than the CMSC guidelines, as follows:

  • 3-6 months after baseline brain scan for patients with RIS or CIS and abnormal MRI
  • If the second brain scan is inconclusive, a third can be done 6-12 months later
  • Follow-up spinal cord MRI in patients with CIS, to demonstrate dissemination in space (DIS) and dissemination in time (DIT), has limited value and should not be done routinely

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