Advanced MR Imaging Techniques for Skeletal Muscle Evaluation Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Diagnostic imaging procedures for muscle evaluation have typically provided basic information concerning gross anatomical change resulting from pathology. Up until recently the musculoskeletal radiologist has been fairly limited to using simple proton-density weighted fat-saturated and short tau inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging scans for assessment of skeletal muscle. Recent advances, however, have resulted in development of newer scans and postprocessing methods that provide much more than gross muscle structure. Scans providing fine structure, muscle function, and metabolism can easily be done using clinical scanners. Here we describe how diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) imaging together can provide detailed information on muscle structural and functional changes. DTI is useful for visualizing muscle tears, and BOLD can be used for vascular insufficiency (e.g., compartment syndrome). In clinical sites that are gaining experience using these techniques, imaging of muscle pathology is becoming increasingly thorough. In the future, these methods will reduce the need for invasive approaches to study muscle pathology.

publication date

  • June 2010