MRI Research Amsterdam UMC

DOMINOES: Development of dynamic 3D-MRI technology to assess skeletal muscle diseases

Skeletal muscles undergo an age-dependent loss of mass and function in a disease known as sarcopenia. Similarly, but usually most faster, most neuromuscular diseases are characterized by progressive muscle weakness. Patients experience limitations in locomotion and eventually lose the possibility of independent life. Muscle magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is considered a valuable outcome measure in clinical trials that target sarcopenia- and neuromuscular-disease-related decline in muscle function. However, current muscle MRI provides only structural readouts of atrophy and fat-deposition, which represent end-stage disease and thus do not provide the best targets for novel early and preventive therapy. Because of the central role of muscle contractile properties in human physical mobility, we hypothesize that MRI measures of muscle contractility under realistic stress conditions are needed as clinical outcomes and to understand pathophysiology. In this project we will therefore develop the technology for dynamic 3D MRI of motion and contractility of the upper leg muscles during a stress-test in the scanner using an MRI-compatible ergometer. Additionally, we will apply the technology in patients suffering from sarcopenia and neuromuscular diseasesâ??enhancing the clinical utility of the technology.