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Radiology. 1998 Oct;209(1):191-6.

Juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathy: exercise-induced changes in muscle at short inversion time inversion-recovery MR imaging.

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Dept. of Diagnostic Radiology, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1182, USA.



To study the effect of exercise on short inversion time inversion-recovery (STIR) magnetic resonance (MR) images of thigh muscles in children with juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathy.


Thirty-two MR studies were performed in 19 patients with juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathy who performed stair-stepping exercise for up to 10 minutes (mean, 5.7 minutes). Baseline T1-weighted (n = 32) and STIR (n = 32) images and STIR images immediately (n = 32) and at 30 (n = 24) and 60 (n = 29) minutes after exercise were obtained at 0.5 T. Four radiologists graded STIR signal intensity changes, in observer performance experiments in which they were blinded to the order of image acquisition in relation to exercise.


Changes in muscle signal intensity were observed on STIR images obtained immediately after exercise in 20 of 32 (63%) studies. The mean signal intensity score immediately after exercise (1.7 +/- 1.0 [SD]) increased compared with the mean baseline score (1.4 +/- 1.1) (P = .0005) and resolved by 30 minutes after exercise. The magnitude of exercise-induced changes correlated with the amount of work performed (r = 0.51, P = .003) but not with disease activity or baseline signal intensity when the changes were corrected for work (r < 0.17, P > .35). Radiologists demonstrated moderate to substantial agreement in the grading of signal intensity changes after exercise (kappa = 0.60-0.84).


In patients with juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathy, stair-stepping exercise induces signal intensity changes on STIR MR studies of muscle for approximately 30 minutes after exercise, in a distribution that may mimic active muscle inflammation.

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