Magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities as a marker of multiple system atrophy in isolated rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder.

Research paper by Amaia A Muñoz-Lopetegi, Joan J Berenguer, Alex A Iranzo, Monica M Serradell, Teresa T Pujol, Carles C Gaig, Esteban E Muñoz, Eduard E Tolosa, Joan J Santamaría

Indexed on: 28 Sep '20Published on: 27 Sep '20Published in: Sleep


Patients with isolated rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (IRBD) develop Parkinson disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), or multiple system atrophy (MSA). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is abnormal in MSA showing abnormalities in the putamen, cerebellum, and brainstem. Our objective was to evaluate the usefulness of MRI to detect MRI abnormalities in IRBD and predict development of MSA and not PD and DLB. In IRBD patients that eventually developed PD, DLB, and MSA, we looked for the specific structural MRI abnormalities described in manifest MSA (e.g. hot cross-bun sign, putaminal rim, and cerebellar atrophy). We compared the frequency of these MRI changes among groups of converters (PD, DLB, and MSA) and analyzed their ability to predict development of MSA. The clinical and radiological features of the IRBD patients that eventually converted to MSA are described in detail. A total of 61 IRBD patients who underwent MRI phenoconverted to PD (n = 30), DLB (n = 26), and MSA (n = 5) after a median follow-up of 2.4 years from neuroimaging. MRI changes typical of MSA were found in four of the five (80%) patients who converted to MSA and in three of the 56 (5.4%) patients who developed PD or DLB. MRI changes of MSA had sensitivity of 80.0%, specificity of 94.6%, positive likelihood ratio of 14.9 (95% CI 4.6-48.8), and negative likelihood ratio of 0.2 (95% CI 0.04-1.2) to predict MSA. In IRBD, conventional brain MRI is helpful to predict conversion to MSA. The specific MRI abnormalities of manifest MSA may be detected in its premotor stage. © Sleep Research Society 2020. Published by Oxford University Press [on behalf of the Sleep Research Society]. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.