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Magn Reson Med. 2006 Aug;56(2):272-81.

DTI-based assessment of ischemia-reperfusion in mouse skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Biomedical NMR, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is frequently applied to characterize the microscopic geometrical properties of tissue. To establish whether and how diffusion MRI responds to transient ischemia of skeletal muscle, we studied the effects of ischemia and reperfusion using DTI and T2-weighted MRI before and during ischemia and up to 24 hr after reperfusion. Ischemia was induced by 50 min of hindlimb occlusion with or without dorsal flexor stimulation. During ischemia the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) tended to decrease (up to 15%), whereas the fractional anisotropy (FA) and T2 showed a varied response depending on the protocol and muscle type. During reperfusion the ADC and T2 initially increased and subsequently renormalized for the occlusion protocol. For the occlusion plus stimulation (OS) protocol, the FA was decreased by 13% and the ADC and T2 were increased by 20% and 57%, respectively, after 24 hr in the stimulated muscle complex. In the latter tissue the three DTI eigenvalues gradually increased upon reperfusion. The smallest eigenvalue (lambda3) showed the largest relative increase. Changes in DTI indices in the reperfusion phases followed a similar time course as the changes in T2. The changes in MR indices after 24 hr correlated with the tissue damage quantified with histology. The highest correlation was observed for lambda3 (R2 = 0.81). This study shows that DTI can be used to assess ischemia-induced damage to skeletal muscle.

Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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