Dynamic DTI (dDTI) shows differing temporal activation patterns in post-exercise skeletal muscles
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OBJECT: To assess post-exercise recovery of human calf muscles using dynamic diffusion tensor imaging (dDTI). MATERIALS AND METHODS: DTI data (6 directions, b = 0 and 400 s/mm2) were acquired every 35 s from seven healthy men using a 3T MRI, prior to (4 volumes) and immediately following exercise (13 volumes, ~7.5 min). Exercise consisted of 5-min in-bore repetitive dorsiflexion-eversion foot motion with 0.78 kg resistance. Diffusion tensors calculated at each time point produced maps of mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and signal at b = 0 s/mm2 (S0). Region-of-interest (ROI) analysis was performed on five calf muscles: tibialis anterior (ATIB), extensor digitorum longus (EDL) peroneus longus (PER), soleus (SOL), and lateral gastrocnemius (LG). RESULTS: Active muscles (ATIB, EDL, PER) showed significantly elevated initial MD post-exercise, while predicted inactive muscles (SOL, LG) did not (p < 0.0001). The EDL showed a greater initial increase in MD (1.90 × 10-4mm2/s) than ATIB (1.03 × 10-4mm2/s) or PER (8.79 × 10-5 mm2/s) (p = 7.40 × 10-4), and remained significantly elevated across more time points than ATIB or PER. Significant increases were observed in post-exercise EDL S0 relative to other muscles across the majority of time points (p < 0.01 to p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: dDTI can be used to differentiate exercise-induced changes between muscles. These differences are suggested to be related to differences in fiber composition.
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