3 years ago

Diffusion Properties and 3D Architecture of Human Lower Leg Muscles Assessed with Ultra-High-Field-Strength Diffusion-Tensor MR Imaging and Tractography: Reproducibility and Sensitivity to Sex Difference and Intramuscular Variability.

Pierre Besson, Christophe Vilmen, Maxime Guye, Augustin C Ogier, Julien Gondin, Alexandre Fouré, Arnaud Le Troter, David Bendahan, Thorsten Feiweier
Purpose To demonstrate the reproducibility of the diffusion properties and three-dimensional structural organization measurements of the lower leg muscles by using diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) assessed with ultra-high-field-strength (7.0-T) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and tractography of skeletal muscle fibers. On the basis of robust statistical mapping analyses, this study also aimed at determining the sensitivity of the measurements to sex difference and intramuscular variability. Materials and Methods All examinations were performed with ethical review board approval; written informed consent was obtained from all volunteers. Reproducibility of diffusion tensor indexes assessment including eigenvalues, mean diffusivity, and fractional anisotropy (FA) as well as muscle volume and architecture (ie, fiber length and pennation angle) were characterized in lower leg muscles (n = 8). Intramuscular variability and sex differences were characterized in young healthy men and women (n = 10 in each group). Student t test, statistical parametric mapping, correlation coefficients (Spearman rho and Pearson product-moment) and coefficient of variation (CV) were used for statistical data analysis. Results High reproducibility of measurements (mean CV ± standard deviation, 4.6% ± 3.8) was determined in diffusion properties and architectural parameters. Significant sex differences were detected in FA (4.2% in women for the entire lower leg; P = .001) and muscle volume (21.7% in men for the entire lower leg; P = .008), whereas architecture parameters were almost identical across sex. Additional differences were found independently of sex in diffusion properties and architecture along several muscles of the lower leg. Conclusion The high-spatial-resolution DTI assessed with 7.0-T MR imaging allows a reproducible assessment of structural organization of superficial and deep muscles, giving indirect information on muscle function. ©RSNA, 2018 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2017171330

DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2017171330

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