Pascal Sati, PhD: Validating the Central Vein Sign in Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

April 16, 2019

The senior preclinical and clinical imaging scientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke spoke about the potential of the central vein sign to help improve the time to an accurate diagnosis in MS.

“We want to see, by adding the central vein sign into the criteria of MS diagnosis, if we can improve the speed of the accuracy compared to the traditional diagnosis criteria.”

At the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum in Dallas, Texas, a number of presentations and posters focused on a novel multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnostic biomarker: the central vein sign. Yet to be confirmed, the central vein sign has shown promise in some assessments to help address another hot topic at the Forum, misdiagnosis.

Both Pascal Sati, PhD, senior preclinical and clinical imaging scientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and Daniel Ontaneda, MD, staff neurologist at the Mellen Center for MS at Cleveland Clinic, among a number of others, presented on the biomarker. Their research and other literature have suggested that the majority of lesions present in patients with MS have a small, but detectable, vein running through their center, which can be imaged successfully with a recently developed technique involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Sati and Ontaneda are working together to develop a prospective study to determine if the central vein sign can have a positive impact on the time to get an accurate diagnosis of MS. Additionally, Sati is working with a group to attempt to validate another not-so-far-along biomarker, the paramagnetic rim sign, which may be able to help physicians identify chronic, active inflammation.

Sati spoke with NeurologyLive® in an interview to further discuss this ongoing work and share some insight about the plans to confirm these potential biomarkers.