Regional cerebral oxygen utilisation (rCMRO2), oxygen extraction (rOER), blood flow (rCBF), and blood volume (rCBV) have been determined for fifteen patients with multiple sclerosis in remission using positron emission tomography (PET). Cerebral oxygen utilisation and blood flow were significantly reduced in both white matter and peripheral cortical grey matter in the multiple sclerosis patients compared to a group of normal controls. No evidence of regional cerebral ischaemia in the multiple sclerosis group was found. Lowest levels of cerebral oxygen utilisation were found in patients with cerebral atrophy, and in patients in whom a significant fall in present full-scale IQ from estimated pre-morbid levels had occurred. No correlation was found between rCMRO2 values and severity of locomotor dysfunction or clinical disease duration.
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