Department of Neurology, Heimer Institute for Muscle Research, University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
Department of Radiology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Correspondence to: Anne-Katrin Güttsches, Department of Neurology, Heimer Institute for Muscle Research, University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Ruhr University Bochum, 44789 Bochum, Germany. Tel.: +49 234 302 3539; Fax: +49 234 302 6805; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background:Skeletal muscle biopsy is one of the gold standards in the diagnostic workup of muscle disorders. By histopathologic analysis, characteristic features like inflammatory cellular infiltrations, fat and collagen replacement of muscle tissue or structural defects of the myofibers can be detected. In the past years, novel quantitative MRI (qMRI) techniques have been developed to quantify tissue parameters, thus providing a non-invasive diagnostic tool in several myopathies. Objective:This proof-of-principle study was performed to validate the qMRI-techniques to skeletal muscle biopsy results. Methods:Ten patients who underwent skeletal muscle biopsy for diagnostic purposes were examined by qMRI. Fat fraction, water T2-time and diffusion parameters were measured in the muscle from which the biopsy was taken. The proportion of fat tissue, the severity of degenerative and inflammatory parameters and the amount of type 1- and type 2- muscle fibers were determined in all biopsy samples. The qMRI-data were then correlated to the histopathological findings. Results:The amount of fat tissue in skeletal muscle biopsy correlated significantly with the fat fraction derived from the Dixon sequence. The water T2-time, a parameter for tissue edema, correlated with the amount of vacuolar changes of myofibers and endomysial macrophages in the histopathologic analysis. No significant correlations were found for diffusion parameters. Conclusion:In this proof-of-principle study, qMRI techniques were related to characteristic histopathologic features in neuromuscular disorders. The study provides the basis for further development of qMRI methods in the follow-up of patients with neuromuscular disorders, especially in the context of emerging treatment strategies.
Keywords: Neuromuscular diseases, magnetic resonance imaging, histology, myositis, muscle tissue