At the autopsy of a donor with MS, coronal sections of 1 cm each are scanned to facilitate MRI-guided dissection of MS leasions (T1, T2, DI, FLAIR, figure below) and for histologic validation of the MRI scans. The MRI scanning happens in close collaboration with the group of Prof. dr. Geurt at the department of Radiology at Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.
As many white and grey matter lesions as possible are dissected either upon MRI guidance or macroscopic appearance. In addition, standard regions are dissected irrespective of the presence of (visible) lesions from the spinal cord (cervical, thoracal and lumbar), brain stem (3 rostocaudal levels), hippocampus, temporal cortex and striatum. These standard regions are highly informative on the occurrence of different types/stages of MS lesions and for the calculation of load of histologically detectable lesions per donor.
Figure: Post mortem MRI-guided dissection of MS lesions. Lesions are identified by MRI or macroscopically (PLA) and dissected as such. These are mirror blocks, thus 0.5 cm frozen in liquid nitrogen and 0.5 cm fixed in formalin. The formalin part is used for lesions characterization.